Medicines for osteoporosis
Osteoporosis medicines work by:
- slowing the breakdown of bone – for example, bisphosphonates, denosumab and raloxifene (antiresorptives), or
- increasing the production of new bone – for example, teriparatide (an anabolic medicine).
As a result, they increase your bone strength and reduce your chances of fracture.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) may also be an option for some postmenopausal women.
It is important to take your medicines for as long as your health professional advises, as it can take between 6 and 12 months before osteoporosis medicines start to reduce your risk of fractures.
You will also need to use your osteoporosis medicines for a long time – 5 years or more (with the exception of HRT, which should be used as a short-term treatment of up to 5 years for women below the age of 60).1
Some other medicines (including calcium supplements) and foods may interfere with your oral osteoporosis medicine and stop it from being properly absorbed. Your health professional will usually give you this information. If you aren’t sure what to do, it's worth asking.