Who should take osteoporosis medication?

People who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis or those who are known to be at high risk for osteoporosis should take osteoporosis medication. For example, you have a higher risk for osteoporosis if you are on long-term steroid treatment.

If you are concerned that you may be at risk for osteoporosis, you should see your doctor for further discussion.

Some drugs used to treat osteoporosis have come under fire for potentially increasing the risk for breakage of the femur bone, esophageal cancer, and the death of bone tissue in the jaw. In reality, only women at high risk for a fracture need treatment, says Ruth Freeman, MD, a professor of obstetrics-gynecology at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. "I always recommend lifestyle changes first," Dr. Freeman says. Women who have osteoporosis and other risk factors such as rheumatoid arthritis, low body weight, and a family history of fractures for instance, may want to take osteoporosis drugs. But women who have no other risk factors might consider opting out. Talk to your doctor about your best option.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.