Doctors initially treat osteoporosis by:
For women, many medications are available to treat osteoporosis. These include:
Bisphosphonates can cause side effects. These include nausea, abdominal pain, irritation of the esophagus and difficulty swallowing. One rare but serious side effect is death of the jawbone caused by poor blood supply.
Long-term estrogen therapy has been associated with many risks. These include an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, breast cancer and gallstones. Estrogen replacement therapy is rarely used to prevent or treat osteoporosis.
Among men, a low level of testosterone is the most common cause of osteoporosis (other than aging). Testing can reveal if testosterone levels are low. In this case, other tests will look for the cause so that treatment can be started. Men also can use alendronate and raloxifene.
Your doctor will monitor how well your treatment is working. He or she will do this by taking bone density measurements every one to two years.
If a person with osteoporosis fractures a hip, surgery may be needed. Surgery will realign and stabilize the hip.
A wrist fracture may heal well simply by being put in a cast. Sometimes surgery may be needed to restore proper alignment of the bones.
Other treatments for fracture include pain medication and rest for a short time.
Calcitonin injections may reduce spine pain from a new compression fracture.
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