FDA-Approved Medications for Osteoporosis Treatment

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a bone-thinning disease. It causes your bones to become thin and weak. They are at greater risk for breaking. A broken bone may happen even from falling from a standing position.

Are there medications available to help stop or prevent osteoporosis?

If you have been told you have osteoporosis, lifestyle changes may not be enough. Medication may be needed to stop bone loss and to prevent broken bones. Talk to your health care provider and review your medical history and risk factors about whether you need medication. You can discuss the benefits and potential risks of a medication. While on medication, it's still important to:

  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Get the right amounts of calcium and vitamin D.
  • Exercise every day.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Limit alcohol.
  • Try to prevent falls. At home, you can remove small floor rugs and install grip bars in the shower.

How do osteoporosis medications get FDA approval?

The efectiveness and safety of the medication is rigorously tested before it is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA approval means the medication has been proven to:

  • Slow bone loss.
  • Increase bone density.
  • Reduce fracture risk at the spine or hip.

What are the FDA-approved medications for osteoporosis?

  • Antiresorptive medication prevents bone loss, may increase bone density, and lowers the risk of broken bones.
  • Anabolic medication builds new bone, increases bone density, and lowers the risk of broken bones.

Antiresorptive medications include a class of drugs called bisphosphonates. These medications include:

  • Alendronate (Fosamax™, Fosamax™ Plus D)
  • Risedronate (Actonel™, Actonel™ with Calcium, and Atelvia™)
  • Ibandronate (Boniva™)
  • Zoledronic acid (Reclast™)
  • Denosumab (Prolia™)
  • Estrogen therapy or hormone therapy
  • Raloxifene (Evista™)
  • Bazedoxifene and estrogen (Duavee™)

The anabolic medications are:

  • Teriparatide (Forteo™)
  • Abaloparatide (Tymlos™)
  • Romosozumab (Evenity™)

How do you take your osteoporosis medication?

The medication will say how it should be taken and how often. Medications come in pill form, an injection, or are given intravenously (in the vein).

How do I learn more about the medication I choose to take?

Education is the key to achieve healthy bones and reduce your fracture risk. It is important to understand the potential benefits and risks of any medications. Speak to your health care provider to get the information you need.

NYSOPEP Resource Center

Helen Hayes Hospital
West Haverstraw, NY
(845) 786-4772