A variety of non-hormonal medications are available to strengthen bones in postmenopausal women. A new study compared the effectiveness of a variety of medications for the treatment of osteoporosis such as teriparatide (Forteo); denosumab (Prolia and Xgeva); and bisphosphonates (Fosamax, Boniva, Actonel, Zometa, and Aclasta), The findings were published in the September issue of the journal Menopause.
The researchers conducted a meta-analysis, which is a compilation of data from a number of studies to clarify a point. They reviewed studies contained in PubMed, Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane Library from January 1996 through October 2014 for appropriate studies. The proportions of women with vertebral fractures and women with non-vertebral fractures were analyzed.
They investigators found that all the medications reviewed, except etidronate, were reported to have a statistically significant reduction of fractures compared to a placebo. Teriparatide and denosumab were more effective than alendronate and risedronate for reducing vertebral fracture (teriparatide vs. alendronate, 1.76-fold greater effectiveness; teriparatide vs, risedronate, 1.92-fold greater effectiveness; denosumab vs, alendronate, 1.67-fold greater effectiveness; and denosumab vs risedronate, 1.84-fold greater effectiveness). Teriparatide, denosumab, alendronate, and risedronate also reduced the risk of non-vertebral fracture (a fracture not located in the spine, such as the hip or wrist). The researchers also found that denosumab, alendronate, and risedronate can reduce the risk of hip fracture and that risedronate can also reduce the risk of upper-arm fracture.
The author concluded that teriparatide, denosumab, alendronate, and risedronate are effective in reducing the risk of vertebral and non-vertebral fractures in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. In addition, denosumab, alendronate, and risedronate can reduce the risk of hip fracture, and risedronate can also reduce the risk of upper-arm fracture.
According to a study released on August 13, 2015 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 25% of older women and 20% of men 65 and older suffer from osteoporosis in either their hip or spine. The prevalence was higher among adults aged 80 and over (25.7%) than for adults aged 65–79 (12.8%). The age-adjusted prevalence of osteoporosis was highest among Mexican-American adults (24.9%), followed by non-Hispanic white adults (15.7%), and was lowest among non-Hispanic black adults (10.3%).
Osteoporosis, which literally means “porous bones,” occurs when bone mass, and therefore, bone strength is decreased. As a result, bones become fragile and break easily. Even a sneeze or a sudden movement can be enough to cause a bone fracture in someone with severe osteoporosis.