Pharmacological treatment of osteoporosis. What are effective medications for osteoporosis?

Treatment of osteoporosis is to prevent fractures. Osteoporosis drugs may have different effects: refrain progressive bone degradation, or resorption (antiresorptive drugs), modify bone formation (anabolic agents) or to regulate both processes. What medications administered to patients with osteoporosis and which ones are reimbursed?

Treatment of osteoporosis is more effective the sooner will be taken. In Poland are reimbursed drugs for osteoporosis with bisphosphonates – alendronate and risedronate and calcitonin, and since last year the newest drug against ostoeporozie – denosumab. Find out what medications can be used to treat osteoporosis.


Bisphosphonates – known for more than 30 years and the most commonly used operating antyresorpcyjnie. Studies show that the regular intake reduces the risk of vertebral fractures by about 40-60 percent. The problem is that they are often poorly tolerated by patients. After a year of bisphosphonate therapy continues only about 30-40 percent. patients. Available forms of bisphosphonates:

  • Weekly (taken once a week) Oral: alendronate, risedronate
  • Monthly Oral: ibandronate
  • Quarterly administered intravenously: ibandronate
  • Annual Intravenous: zoledronate


Denosumab is the newest biologic drug (a fully human monoclonal antibody), which significantly affects the bone remodeling regulating system. I do not have any side effects from the gastrointestinal tract, as is administered subcutaneously once every 6 months. Denosumab may also be used in renal failure, which is often a contraindication to osteoporosis pharmacotherapy According to research, this drug reduces the risk of vertebral fractures by 68 percent and hip fractures by 40 percent. Since it is rarely taken, patients willingly and regularly use it, therapy is not interrupted.


Calcitonin is now rarely used in the treatment of osteoporosis, because it does not prevent fractures. However, in the spine has a beneficial effect, including analgesic. It is not recommended for long-term treatment of osteoporosis, it is served only for a short period of time.

Parathyroid hormone and Strontium ranelate

Parathyroid hormone – promotes bone reconstruction, administered daily subcutaneously is one of the most effective drugs for severe osteoporosis, but it cannot be taken for more than 18 months.

Strontium ranelate is a drug inhibiting bone resorption and stimulating bone formation processes.


The drug SERM (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators – selective estrogen receptor modulators), which are the newest class of drugs for medical treatment of osteoporosis. Clearly reduce the risk of vertebral fractures, but do not affect the risk of other osteoporotic fractures.

Hormone replacement therapy

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) because of the risk of complications is not used today in the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis fractures, although it has such activity by hormonal supplementation.

Other resources:

Meloxicam – NSAID

Osteoporosis – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – Orthopaedic Specialists North Carolina Osteoporosis Clinic