Common Medications and Treatments for Osteoporosis

There are several different classes of drugs that treat osteoporosis. Treatment is specific to each individual. Side effects and warnings must be taken into consideration. Please read the following osteoporosis patient education guide regarding common meds and treatments prescribed by doctors.

Drug Type

How it is taken?

How it works?

Calcitonin Taken as a daily nasal spray or injection Retards the progression of bone loss
Zoledronic Acids Taken once a year via a 15 minute IV infusion Improves bone strength

Decreases fractures in:

    • Hip
    • Spine
    • Ribs
    • Legs
    • Arms
    • Wrists
Synthetic Parathyroid Hormones


Self-injected daily for 24 months


Stimulates new bone formation

Increases BMD (bone mineral density

Used for those at high risk of fracture

Hormonal Replacement Therapies (estrogen & progesterone)


Daily oral dose of estrogen alone or with progesterone, or through a vaginal insert or dermal patch


Used for bone loss prevention as well as treatment

Decreases the incidence of fractures

Monoclonal Antibodies


One injection is given subcutaneously (just under the skin) of the upper arm, abdomen or upper thigh once every 6 months.


Deactivates the mechanism to breakdown bone

First biological therapy

Used when other treatments failed

Used in those with high risk for fracture