16 August 2004 Alternatives To HRT For Osteoporosis Detailed
The latest issue of Women's HealthSource from the Mayo Clinic reviews alternatives to HRT for treating osteoporosis. For some time, hormone therapy was thought to be the best way to protect bone health - and prevent osteoporosis - during and after menopause.
But since the health risks associated with long-term hormone therapy were revealed, other medications have begun to emerge as better options for treating and preventing postmenopausal bone loss and fractures. These include:
Bisphosphonates - This group of medications includes alendronate (Fosamax) and risedronate (Actonel). Both can preserve bone mass and moderately increase bone density in your spine and hips. A study showed that alendronate increased bone mineral density in the spine continuously over a 10 year period.
Raloxifene (Evista) - This medication belongs to a class of drugs called selective estrogen receptor modulators. It mimics estrogen's beneficial effects on bone density without some of the risks associated with estrogen. Studies have shown that raloxifene reduced the risk of spine injuries by 36 percent.
Calcitonin (Miacalcin): This drug works by slowing the breakdown of bone and helps keep bone density stable. It is used as a nasal spray or by injection.
Teriparatide (Forteo): This is the first of a new category of treatments called anabolic agents. Unlike other drugs that are used to prevent bone loss, teriparatide stimulates bone formation. Taken by injection, its long-term effectiveness and safety are still being studied.