Approximately 40% of people taking osteoporosis medicines do not meet levels of adherence needed to obtain full benefit from their treatment.25
Use BMD measurements to monitor treatment response
Therapeutic response can be monitored by measuring BMD at the lumbar spine and hip.1 Obtain BMD measurements 2 yearsb after commencing therapy or 1–2 years after therapy changes significantly.1
Guidelines recommend measuring BMD prior to starting long-term corticosteroids and at least once a year for the first few years of therapy, in patients taking prednisolone (≥ 5 mg/day) or equivalent.c,1
Review diagnosis and treatment regimen if BMD losses greater than 3%–5% per year are observed in a patient taking osteoporosis medicines.2
Evaluate medicine effectiveness and adherence, or investigate for underlying causes of osteoporosis if:
- unexpected fractures occur (usually more than one fracture event)2
- a decrease in height of more than 2–3 cm is documented since last examination2,26
- the patient experiences acute back pain, which may be a symptom of a new fracture.2
b In cases of severe osteoporosis, BMD measurements can be obtained 1 year after commencing therapy.
c DXA is only MBS-subsidised for patients taking ≥ 7.5 mg/day prednisolone or equivalent for longer than 4 months and is restricted to 1 service only in a period of 12 consecutive months.