Bone-Building Medications

Today many medications are available to help women and men battle osteoporosis. To understand how these medications work, you need to know about bone metabolism.

Bone metabolism is the complicated process of bone buildup and breakdown.

Picture bone metabolism as a savings account – your bone bank. This bone bank is very much like your savings account at the bank, in that you make deposits and withdrawal.

You do the same thing with the minerals that make up your bones. Throughout your life you are depositing bone minerals, but you are also withdrawing them.

When you are younger, you deposit more bone than you withdraw, so your bone balance increases and the bones get stronger. As you age, that balance starts to change as the breaking-down (withdrawals) process accelerates while the building-up (deposits) process slows, resulting in lower bone density.

Most osteoporosis medications are anti-resorptive, meaning they go to your bone cells to slow the deterioration, which gives the bone building cells a chance to catch up.

The newest drug, Forteo, takes a different approach, going directly to the bone-building cells to give them a boost.Be sure to ask your doctor about each medication described here.

Together you can determine which one best meets your needs and fits your lifestyle.

Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT) and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Evista (Raloxifene)
Fosamax (Alendronate)
Actonel (Risedronate)
Miacalcin Nasal Spray (Calcitonin)
Forteo (Parathyroid Hormone, PTH)
Osteonecrosis of the Jaw: Weighing Your Risk