Osteoporosis Medicine - Hope for Sufferers of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a serious medical condition which affects 20% of American women over the age of 50. Osteoporosis, which literally means "porous bones" refers to a degenerative bone disorder in which a patient steadily loses bone mass and bone mineral density, an index of bone health and hardness.
Common complications associated with osteoporosis include increased risk of fractures, falls and general bone brittleness. About half of the patients suffering from osteoporosis will suffer fractures of the spine, wrist or hip, the most common body parts that suffer from osteoporosis. Thankfully, modern medical advances in osteoporosis medicine has given hope and relief to many sufferers of osteoporosis and bone cancer.
There are several different kinds of osteoporosis medicine currently on the market and approved by the FDA for use in the treatment of degenerative bone disorders and bone cancer. One popular osteoporosis medicine, known as fosomax, has had success treating osteoporosis by helping patients to retain bone mass and bone mineral density. Fosomax, which is comprised of alendronate, works by binding to bone and inhibiting the action of osteoclasts. Osteoclasts, literally "bone destroyers" are specialized bone cells responsible for breaking down bone mass and helping the blood stream to reabsorb its minerals. By inhibiting the action of osteoclasts, this osteoporosis medicine is capable of retarding the progression of osteoporosis.
Fosomax has been shown to assist post-menopausal women in retaining up to 50% more bone mass and bone mineral density than a control group not taking this osteoporosis medicine. Also encouraging is Fosomax's ability to help reduce the instance of fractures of the spine, hip and wrists in this same group of patients.
Fosomax can either be prescribed for once weekly use in higher doses, of around 70mg, or, in the case that a patient requires a daily dose of osteoporosis medicine, around 10mg per day. Fosomax is an osteoporosis medicine with an exceptionally long half-life, meaning that the drug retains its ability to exert a chemical affect on the body for a long while.
Because fosomax also accumulates in the body over time, it has a progressively protective effect on bone mass. This is beneficial in the sense that, as an osteoporosis medicine, it can continue to protect a patient long into the future and should, theoretically, become more effective over time as its levels in the body increase. However, there are also some concerns regarding Fosomax and its potential long term side effects, which are poorly understood.
Other Types of Osteoporosis Medicine
Other kinds of osteoporosis medicine include less intensive treatment options such as calcium and vitamin D supplementation. Both calcium and vitamin D are essential to good bone health and maintaining bone mass and bone mineral density. Because patients suffering from osteoporosis may have problems related to insufficient levels of these essentials, a doctor may choose to treat your osteoporosis by prescribing varying doses of calcium and vitamin D, sometimes prescribing injections if oral supplementation will not be sufficient.
Considering that a postmenopausal woman requires 1,500 mg of calcium and 1,000 units of vitamin D per day, its understandable how prescription strength supplements may become necessary, especially when dietary deficiencies, other illnesses, or bad habits like smoking and drinking further inhibit the uptake and retention of calcium and vitamin D.
Another commonly used osteoporosis medicine is known as Forteo. Forteo is a paraythroid hormone that has been shown to increase bone mass by stimulating osteoblasts, the specialzed bone cells that actually assemble bones. Forteo is usually injected once per day for a given period of time, and, as such is usually implicated in cases where a patient is suffering from severe and / or advanced osteoporosis.