Gynecology - Osteoporosis - Treatment of Osteoporosis

Treatment of Osteoporosis

Treatment does not cure osteoporosis, it but can slow down the loss of bone and rebuild some bone.

Treatment may include increasing the calcium your body gets, usually through diet and supplements. Most adult women should have 1000 mg of calcium a day. Women who are over 50 need at least 1200 mg a day. Vitamin D is needed to help the body absorb the calcium. Up to age 50 200 IU of vitamin D is needed, after that 400 to 800 IU is needed.

Weight-bearing exercise, such as walking or stair climbing, also helps keep your bones strong. Doing this kind of physical activity every day may help stop further weakening of your bones.

There are several medicines that slow bone loss and help reduce fractures. These include:

  • bisphosphonates such as risedronate (Actonel), alendronate (Fosamax) and Boniva
  • calcitonin-salmon hormone (Miacalcin nasal spray)
  • selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) such as raloxifene (Evista) and tamoxifen (Nolvadex).
  • Parathyroid hormones (Forteo)
  • Prolia

These medicines are prescribed if your bone mineral density tests reveal osteoporosis despite adequate exercise, calcium intake, and no smoking. They may also be prescribed if you have already had a fracture due to osteoporosis.

The female hormones estrogen and progestin may be prescribed to replace some of the hormones that decrease at menopause. Estrogen has previously been prescribed to help prevent bone loss (osteoporosis). This is no longer advised because it may be harmful. Treatment with estrogen and progestin may increase the risk for heart disease, stroke, breast cancer, blood clots, some gallbladder problems, and possibly dementia. Also, estrogen taken without progestin increases the risk of uterine cancer if you still have your uterus. Discuss the risks and benefits of hormone therapy with your health care provider.

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