What You Should Know About Osteoporosis Meds
Which Medicine Is Right for Me?
Your doctor will suggest a prescription medication partly based on how severe your osteoporosis is, but that’s not the only thing she’ll consider. It also depends on:
- Your sex. Some medicines are approved only for women, while others work for men as well.
- Your age. While certain medications are best for younger women who have already been through menopause, others are better for older postmenopausal women.
- Ease. From pills to shots, meds come in different forms. Some you take every day, others just once a year. The right medication is partly about what form and timing work best for you.
- Cost. Shots or meds you get through an IV mean a trip to the doctor’s office. That may cost you more money than pills you can take at home. It helps to check your insurance to know what they’ll pay for.
- Your medical history. If you have kidney problems, a history of breast cancer, or trouble with your esophagus, some medicines may be better for you than others.
This is the most commonly used class of medicines to treat osteoporosis in men and women. They work by slowing the rate of bone loss.
The main bisphosphonates are:
- Alendronate (Binosto, Fosamax). You can take this pill once a day or once a week.
- Ibandronate (Boniva). This med is only for postmenopausal women. You can take a once-a-month pill or get it through an IV every 3 months.
- Risedronate (Actonel, Atelvia). You take this pill once a day, once a week, or once a month.
- Zoledronic acid (Reclast, Zometa). You get this med through an IV once a year.