Osteoporosis Treatment: What You Should Know

Bone-Healthy Living / Osteoporosis / October 14, 2011

Raising Awareness for National Osteoporosis Month

Well over 10 million Americans are going in for or inquiring about osteoporosis treatment and preventive measures. The reason is simple. A man and a woman are only as happy as healthy as their body is; it is a reciprocal relationship. And if the very foundation of our being is weakened, why wouldn’t we be at unease?

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a medical condition, in which the tissues of the bones become thin. Calcium and phosphate are highly important nutrients required by the body to grow and to develop our bones in our bodies. As age progresses, if these diet supplements are not met, and without proper care or exercise, the bone minerals are absorbed back into our bloodstream leading to the weakening of our bones. This disease doesn’t show any early symptoms, except maybe a little pain or dullness. That is why it is more important for people to be careful.

This kind of disease often is more common in women who are past menopause. The statistics given by the World Health Organization reveal that though osteoporosis strikes men too, but is in the ratio of 2:1, with women being the more frequent targets.

Osteoporosis Treatment Hazards?

For ages there have been various forms of osteoporosis treatments available for the elderly, the most common treatments being drug and medication, and in some rare cases, hormonal transplants.

Bisphosphonate is the most common drug used for osteoporosis treatment. However, the FDA recently announced that the family of drugs belonging to the bisphosphonate family could prove to be dangerous. It has therefore asked the drug manufacturers to print new warning labels for these drugs, and also to distribute a user-friendly note, educating the consumers about the possible risks they might be taking. These drugs have been reported to increase the risk of thigh fractures in fact.

The FDA has also stated that patients who have been taking these drugs for a period of over 5 years should have themselves checked, as according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, these drugs have little effect on the person’s condition after 5 years. In fact, the effect they have is negative on the patient, increasing the risk of a thigh fracture.

What do the Experts Have to Say?

Analysts at Bernstein & Co. state that the warning label change in question is very likely to increase the concern level among patients, who already are not very comfortable with the medication market scenario. These labels would be applicable to the following drugs of the biophosphonate family:


  • Roche’s Boniva
  • Merck’s Alendronate
  • Novartis’ Reclast
  • Warner Chilcott’s Actonel


Little to No Warning

The type of thigh fracture is more dangerous and sudden, as it is said that it would occur with little or no preceding injuries or trauma. This regards to any thigh fracture experienced by anyone taking any of the bisphosphonate drugs for 5 years or more. One of the most common symptoms may be a dull aching pain, which might be experienced for months before the actual fracture occurs.

Something to Consider

The main purpose of bisphosphonate is to stop the bone-thinning process by interfering with the body’s mechanism by which it replaces old bones with new ones. But if the drug is not as effective as it should be, and in fact be more dangerous, doctors believe that it is better to prevent its excessive usage.


Author: Monica Straith, BS

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