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Biphosphonate Therapy (For Osteoporosis)

What is biphosphonate therapy?
Why would a doctor recommend biphosphonate therapy?
What does biphosphonate therapy involve?
What are the side effects of biphosphonate therapy?

What is biphosphonate therapy?

Bisphosphonates are used to both prevent and treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. These drugs help slow the loss of bone density, and so reduce the risk of spinal and hip fractures. Alendronate (Fosamax) and risedronate (Actonel) are two kinds of biphosphonates.

Why would a doctor recommend biphosphonate therapy?

If a bone density test, X-ray, or other diagnostic test shows that you have osteoporosis, your doctor may prescribe bisphosphonates to preserve the density of your bones. Biphosphonates are also used to treat other bone diseases, such as Paget's disease.

What does biphosphonate therapy involve?

Biphosphonates are oral medications taken at a rate your doctor prescribes, ranging from every day to once or twice a week. They are often taken first thing in the morning, with a full glass of water, and on an empty stomach. You should not lie down, eat, or drink anything for at least 30 minutes after taking the medicine.

What are the side effects of biphosphonate therapy?

Side effects are rare if the medication is taken as directed. Some patients may have an upset stomach, or feel the symptoms of heartburn after taking biphosphonates.

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