Osteoporosis is an age-related condition which causes your bones to become brittle and weak. It can occur in both men and women, but it is more common in women due to their higher risk of developing the condition. Osteoporosis drugs are prescribed to help strengthen the bones and reduce the risk of fractures. In this article, we’ll discuss how these drugs work and what their side effects are.
Types of Osteoporosis Drugs
There are several different types of osteoporosis drugs available, each with their own specific purpose. Bisphosphonates are the most commonly prescribed type of drug, as they help to slow down the rate of bone loss. Calcitonin is another drug used to help promote the formation of new bone cells. Estrogens are prescribed to help increase the absorption of calcium and vitamin D. Finally, Raloxifene is a drug used to reduce the risk of vertebral fractures.
How Do Osteoporosis Drugs Work?
The exact mechanism of action of osteoporosis drugs varies depending on the type of drug. Bisphosphonates, for example, work by inhibiting the action of enzymes which break down bone. This helps to slow down the rate of bone loss and can help to reduce the risk of fractures. Calcitonin works by promoting the formation of new bone cells, which can help to strengthen the bones. Estrogens help to increase the absorption of calcium and vitamin D, which can help to strengthen the bones. Finally, Raloxifene works by reducing the risk of vertebral fractures.
Side Effects of Osteoporosis Drugs
As with all medications, osteoporosis drugs come with their own set of side effects. The most common side effects of bisphosphonates include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea. Calcitonin can cause nausea, headache, and flushing. Estrogens can cause breast tenderness, nausea, and headaches. Finally, Raloxifene can cause hot flashes, leg cramps, and an increased risk of blood clots.
How to Take Osteoporosis Drugs
It is important to take osteoporosis drugs as directed by your doctor. Bisphosphonates should be taken on an empty stomach with a full glass of water. Calcitonin should be taken at least one hour before or two hours after meals. Estrogens should be taken with food. Finally, Raloxifene should be taken with a full glass of water.
Osteoporosis drugs can be very effective at helping to reduce the risk of fractures and strengthen the bones. It is important to take these drugs as directed by your doctor and to be aware of any potential side effects. If you have any questions about how these drugs work or how to take them, it is important to speak to your doctor.