Afflicting more than 10 million Americans with another 34 million at risk, the remedy for osteoporosis is an essential medical intervention. When the reports about Fosamax and other bisphosphonates causing serious adverse effects arose, the demand for a different medication also skyrockets. On the other hand, there are reports that bisphosphonates may be a good breast cancer treatment.
Even though bisphosphonates are still the first line of treatment for osteoporosis, many other approaches for treating this brittle bone disease have been made especially for those contraindicated with bisphosphonates. Other conventional therapies that are next in line focus more on the replacement of certain hormones. These substitute medicaments are also becoming popular in reversing the effects of osteoporosis on the bones.
Hormonal Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Before the breakthrough of bisphosphonates in medical science, hormonal replacement method is the most preferred approach towards managing osteoporosis. Women, particularly those who have passed menopause, are often prescribed with either estrogen or a combination of estrogen and progestin, which are known to prevent bone resorption and diminish the risk of fracture. Unfortunately, a study in July 2002 has become the turning point of events as it revealed the significant increase of risk of morbid diseases such as breast cancer, heart disease and stroke in some women.
Evista is a drug under selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) class which acts like an estrogen on the bones but acts otherwise on the uterus and the breasts. Unlike HRT, raloxifene does not increase one's risk of breast cancer. However, it shows that this drug furthers the formation of clots in the veins and lungs.
Protelos (strontium ranelate)
In the constant bone remodeling cycle, strontium ranelate functions by preventing the loss of calcium from the bones during bone resorption while stimulating the formation of new bones which is done by bone cells known as osteoblasts. This is a prescription drug given to women with osteoporosis who are at the menopausal stage. Unfortunately, this drug is only sold in Europe and is yet to be permitted by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States.
While there are several pharmaceutical interventions available for treating osteoporosis, it is best to confer with your doctor to find out the treatment that fits your condition. Approaches in fighting osteoporosis are not solely depending on bisphosphonates like Fosamax. This means that you may not have to put yourself at risk of having serious Fosamax side effects which have been the basis for some people filing a lawsuit against the drug's manufacturer.