Musculoskeletal disorders

Osteoporosis

(Bone loss)

About Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis makes your bones weak and more likely to break. Anyone can develop osteoporosis, but it is common in older women. As many as half of all women and a quarter of men older than 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.

Risk factors include

  • Getting older
  • Being small and thin
  • Having a family history of osteoporosis
  • Taking certain medicines
  • Being a white or Asian woman
  • Having osteopenia, which is low bone density

Osteoporosis is a silent disease. You might not know you have it until you break a bone. A bone mineral density test is the best way to check your bone health. To keep bones strong, eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, exercise and do not smoke. If needed, medicines can also help.

NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Top Medications for Osteoporosis according to our users

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All Medications for Osteoporosis

  • Actonel
    (risedronate)
    Prescription only

    Actonel (risedronate) is a first-choice treatment for osteoporosis and is available as a generic, but taking it can be a hassle.

    Was it worth it?
    Men
    35%
    Women
    Not enough review data. Review it!
    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Boniva
    (ibandronate)
    Prescription only

    Boniva (ibandronate) is a first-choice treatment for osteoporosis and is available as a generic, but how you have to take it can be a hassle. It's also only approved for women, not men.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Injection
  • Forteo
    (teriparatide)
    Prescription only

    Forteo (Teriparatide) is a good second-choice medication to treat bone loss, but it's only available as an injectable.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Injection
  • Fosamax Plus D
    (alendronate / cholecalciferol)
    Prescription only

    Fosamax Plus D (alendronate / cholecalciferol) combines biphosphonate with vitamin D in single pill. However, it is available as brand only.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Fosamax
    (alendronate)
    Prescription only

    Fosamax (alendronate) is a first-choice treatment for osteoporosis, but taking it can be a hassle.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Effervescent tablet
    • Liquid
  • Prolia
    (denosumab)
    Prescription only

    Prolia (Denosumab) is an effective and convenient treatment for osteoporosis if other options haven’t worked or aren’t appropriate for you. There’re risks of some rare side effects, so make sure you're following up with your doctor regularly.

    Was it worth it?
    Men
    Not enough review data. Review it!
    Women
    33%
    • Available dosage forms:
    • Injection
  • Reclast
    (zoledronate)
    Prescription only

    Reclast (zoledronate) is a good choice for osteoporosis if you aren't able to take bisphosphonates by mouth. It is available as a generic, but you have to see a doctor to get each dose.

    Was it worth it?
    Men
    Not enough review data. Review it!
    Women
    Not enough review data. Review it!
    • Available dosage forms:
    • Injection
  • Microzide (hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ)) is a well-tolerated water pill that's often the first-choice treatment for mild high blood pressure.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Provera
    (medroxyprogesterone)
    Prescription only

    Provera (Medroxyprogesterone) works well to regulate your menstrual cycle and stop irregular bleeding. It also protects the uterus from estrogen's harmful effects.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Rocaltrol
    (calcitriol)
    Prescription only

    Rocaltrol (Calcitriol) is the strongest form of vitamin D available, but it's prescription-only and more expensive than over-the-counter alternatives, and you have to get regular blood tests.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Liquid
    • Injection
  • Vitamin D2
    (ergocalciferol)
    Prescription or OTC

    Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol) works for vitamin D deficiencies and is available over the counter, but your body doesn't absorb it as well as Vitamin D3.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Liquid capsule
    • Liquid
  • Vitamin D3
    (cholecalciferol)
    Prescription or OTC

    Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) works well for vitamin D deficiencies and is available over the counter. It absorbs better than vitamin D2, but it's animal-based so vegetarians and vegans might not want to take it.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • calcitonin
    Prescription only

    Miacalcin (calcitonin) can be used for osteoporosis, but it is not a first choice because there are more effective medications available.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Nasal spray
    • Injection
  • Forteo
    (teriparatide)
    Prescription only

    Forteo (Teriparatide) is a good second-choice medication to treat bone loss, but it's only available as an injectable.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Injection
  • Prolia
    (denosumab)
    Prescription only

    Prolia (Denosumab) is an effective and convenient treatment for osteoporosis if other options haven’t worked or aren’t appropriate for you. There’re risks of some rare side effects, so make sure you're following up with your doctor regularly.

    Was it worth it?
    Men
    Not enough review data. Review it!
    Women
    33%
    • Available dosage forms:
    • Injection
  • Rocaltrol
    (calcitriol)
    Prescription only

    Rocaltrol (Calcitriol) is the strongest form of vitamin D available, but it's prescription-only and more expensive than over-the-counter alternatives, and you have to get regular blood tests.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Liquid
    • Injection
  • Evista
    (raloxifene)
    Prescription only

    Evista (Raloxifene) is effective at reducing bone loss and lowering the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women, but does carry the risk of blood clots.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Prolia
    (denosumab)
    Prescription only

    Prolia (Denosumab) is an effective and convenient treatment for osteoporosis if other options haven’t worked or aren’t appropriate for you. There’re risks of some rare side effects, so make sure you're following up with your doctor regularly.

    Was it worth it?
    Men
    Not enough review data. Review it!
    Women
    33%
    • Available dosage forms:
    • Injection

Medication side effects for Osteoporosis

These are some of the most common side effects from clinical trials for Headache.

  • Fosamax Plus D: 2%
  • Fosamax: 8%
  • calcitonin: 18%
0 of 100

At this end, no one is expected to have Headache

100 of 100

At this end, almost everyone is expected to have Headache

Tips, success stories, and coping strategies for Osteoporosis

What tip would you give someone like me who was just diagnosed?

No tips yet for this condition, leave a tip!

What’s your best coping strategy?
  • exercise, calcium/vitamin D3 supplements, evista
Besides medications, what else has worked for you?
  • no idea. nothing, so far. Cant tolerate any of the regular oral meds. Afraid of Reclast.