Prevention and Treatment: Medications
Currently, the most effective medications for osteoporosis that are approved by the FDA are anti-resorptive agents, which prevent bone breakdown. Antiresorptive medications inhibit bone removal (resorption), thus tipping the balance in favor of bone rebuilding and increasing bone density. Menopausal estrogen hormone therapy is one example of an antiresorptive agent. Others include alendronate (Fosamax), risedronate (Actonel), raloxifene (Evista), ibandronate (Boniva), calcitonin (Calcimar), and zoledronate (Reclast).
Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) are a class of drugs that work like estrogen in some tissues. The SERMs are developed to reap the benefits of estrogen while avoiding the potential side effects of estrogen. Examples include tamoxifen and Raloxifene (Evista).
For more information on these and other hormone medications, please read the Osteoporosis feature article on MedicineNet.com.