Prescription medicines can help strengthen bones and reduce the risk of fractures.1 To continue protecting bones, osteoporosis medicines may need to be taken for many years; and combined with a healthy lifestyle and supplements, you can take control of osteoporosis.1-4
Your doctor will advise you on what medications are best suited to treat your osteoporosis.
Your doctor will select a medicine depending on your individual risk profile, including the risk of specific types of broken bones or fractures, other medical conditions and any other medications your currently take.
Osteoporosis medicines have been shown to reduce the risk of different fracture types including vertebral (back), hip, leg and wrist fractures by 30-70% depending on the type of fracture.1
Medicines come in various forms – tablets, injections or infusions. Depending on the medication, it could be taken every day, once a week, once a month or even just 1–2 times per year.1
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help to strengthen your bones.
Exercise regularly to build stronger bones.1Jogging, brisk walking, stair climbing, dancing, tennis and skipping are great for building bones.
Limit alcohol.1 Heavy drinking can reduce bone building. It can also increase your risk of falling and breaking a bone.
Avoid smoking.1 The chemicals in cigarettes can harm your bone cells. Smoking also makes it harder for your bones to absorb calcium.
Your doctor may recommend you take calcium and vitamin D supplements alongside your osteoporosis medicine.
Why do we need calcium? Calcium helps us build and maintain strong bones. If you don’t get your recommended daily intake of calcium through your diet, then your body will simply take calcium from somewhere else, namely your bones.3
The best way to ensure you are getting enough vitamin D is with sunlight. Sunlight is the primary source of vitamin D for most Australians.4
Vitamin D is important.4 Vitamin D is essential for strong bones in two key ways. It improves the absorption of calcium from the intestines (or gut). It helps to regulate calcium levels in the blood.
Ask your doctor about a bone density scan
If you have gone through menopause it’s important that you ask your doctor for a bone density scan. With early diagnosis and treatment, you can take control of osteoporosis and reduce your risk of losing your mobility and independence.1,2
The first step to treating osteoporosis is to get diagnosed.
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- Osteoporosis Australia. What you need to know about osteoporosis. Consumer guide. 2017. www.osteoporosis.org.au. [Accessed 1 October 2020]
- Cooper C. Am J Med 1997;103:12S-17S.
- Osteoporosis Australia. Calcium. 2017. www.osteoporosis.org.au. [Accessed 1 October 2020]
- Osteoporosis Australia. Vitamin D. 2017. www.osteoporosis.org.au. [Accessed 1 October 2020]