When lifestyle changes alone are not enough, you may need a medication to improve your bone density.Fosamax
Benefits: Reduces bone loss that leads to spine and hip fractures. Comes in tablet or liquid form.
Keep in mind: Must be taken once a week in the morning with only water. May cause upset stomach.
Benefits: Seems to reverse bone loss throughout the skeleton and can be taken just once a month.
Keep in mind: So far proved only to reduce the risk of spine fractures. May upset the stomach.
Benefits: Helps to decrease the risk of spine and non-spine fractures and comes in a form with added calcium.
Keep in mind: Can be taken weekly or daily. May be associated with some gastrointestinal upset.
Benefits: The first (and currently the only) once-a-year osteoporosis medication.
Keep in mind: Must be given intravenously in a doctor's office or another outpatient setting.
Benefits: Comes in a pill or patch form and in a wide variety of doses.
Keep in mind: Recommended only for women who are dealing with menopause symptoms.
Benefits: Provides the beneficial effects of estrogen and reduces the risk of invasive breast cancer.
Keep in mind: Must be taken weekly and shouldn't be used by women at risk for stroke.
Copyright © 2008. Used with permission from the May 2008 issue of Family Circle magazine.