How to Prevent Bone Loss - Slowing Down Bone Loss With Drugs

Written by Rita Kennen

Slowing Down Bone Loss With Drugs

There's no cure for osteoporosis, but there are a variety of drugs on the market that help slow down bone loss:

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): Reduces bone loss in postmenopausal women. Cuts down the risk of spine, hip and wrist fractures by 70 percent. Alendronate (Fosamax)builds up a woman's spine but is generally reserved for women who can't take estrogen. Research shows the drug can reduce fractures by almost 30 percent. Consult your doctor as HRT is known to have some bad side effects.  A good website for further information can be found on the Mayo Clinic.

Calcitonin: A hormone naturally produced by the thyroid gland. It increases the absorption of calcium and slows down bone loss even in women five years past menopause.Calcitonin can relieve pain associated with fractures. It's available in either an injection or nasal spray.

Raloxifene.  Raloxifene mimics estrogen's beneficial effects on bone density in postmenopausal women, without some of the risks associated with estrogen, such as increased risk of uterine and, possibly, breast cancer. Hot flashes are a common side effect of raloxifene, and you shouldn't use this drug if you have a history of blood clots. This drug is only approved for women with osteoporosis and is not currently approved for use in men

Tamoxifen. According to the Mayo Clinic, this synthetic hormone has been used to treat breast cancer for years. It's now also being given to certain high-risk women to help reduce their chances of developing breast cancer. Although tamoxifen blocks estrogen's effect on breast tissue, it has an estrogen-like effect on other cells in your body, including your bone cells. As a result, tamoxifen appears to reduce the risk of fractures, especially in women over age 50. Possible side effects of tamoxifen include hot flashes, stomach upset and vaginal dryness or discharge.

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