What are the Different Types of Osteoporosis Drugs?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2019
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Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones of the body become brittle and weak. While more commonly associated with women, men are also capable of developing this type of bone condition. Fortunately, there are several different types of osteoporosis drugs on the market today that can help prevent bone loss as well as promote the production of healthy bone tissue.

Some of the different types of osteoporosis drugs that are commonly recommended are members of the biophosphate family. There are several biophosphates that are sold as both generic and brand name products, with many of them involving doses that are taken no more than once per month. Different types of osteoporosis drugs in this family include risedronate, zoledronic acid, alendronate, and ibandronate.

The different types of osteoporosis drugs also include a medication known as raloxifene. Classified as a selective estrogen receptor modulator, or SERM, raloxifene provides many of the same benefits to bones that estrogen provides, while not increasing the risk of developing uterine or breast cancer. Recommended for treatment of osteoporosis in women, this medication is not for females who have experienced blot clots in the past; the drug may cause hot flashes as a side effect.


Among the different types of natural osteoporosis drugs, calcitonin is a common option when patients are unable to take biophosphates for their condition. As one of the hormones that is produced by the thyroid, calcitonin is thought to help reduce the potential for fractures along the spinal column, as well as provide some degree of relief from various types of compression fractures. Many patients take calcitonin in the form of a nasal spray. The hormone is also available in the form of an injection if necessary.

Teriparatide is also one of the different types of osteoporosis drugs that are commonly used today. Recommended for both men and women, this drug is ideal for patients considered to be at high risk for various types of fractures. Like the biophosphates, teriparatide helps to stimulate healthy bone growth, although there is no evidence that it directly addresses the issue of bone loss. Unlike some of the other drugs for osteoporosis, this medication must be administered daily, usually as an injection under the skin along the abdomen or thigh.

The choice of which of the several different types of osteoporosis drugs to use depends on the circumstances of the patient. Some are better options for men, while others provide the most benefit to postmenopausal women. A qualified physician can assess the current status of the disease, and determine which course of treatment would be in the best interests of the patient.


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