Medicine Osteopenia, Osteoporosis - Of course you want to understand what pharmeceutical drugs may be prescribed to reverse your bone loss and/or build stronger bones.
Pharmeceutical drugs frequently prescribed. It is important to know that most pharmeceutial drugs have been approved for the treatment of the more serious condition of Osteoporosis, not for the treatment of Osteopenia - a condtion where bone loss is less advanced that in Osteoporosis.
Note: Osteoporosis means 'porous bones'. Osteopenia means your bones are not 'porous' but they are weaker than normal bone. You can see the difference in the image below. Note that Normal bone has few open spaces while Osteopenia has more and Osteoporosis has more empty space (white) than bone (black).
The reason why your health care provider is concerned about your loss of bone density (See: images above) is that bones that are not dense (black area) are bones that are more likely to fracture (break) when they are stressed. Although bones showing Osteoporosis (porous bone) are most likely to fracture; some even seem to fracture spontaneously, there is concern about osteopenic bone also. Health care providers do not want to see your bones progress to the more serious condition of Osteoporosis. As a result some health care providers may prescribe pharmeceutial drugs even when you are at the Osteopenia stage of bone loss.
There are two main types of Medicine Osteopenia, Osteoporosis:
1. There are drugs that produce greater bone density by slowing your body's removal of old bone. In slowing the removal of 'old bone' these drugs result in your bones containing bone cells that your body's bone removing cels (osteoclasts) would normally remove. As a result your bones may be 'dense', but they are weaker than normal bone since they now contain 'old bone' that your body would have removed if it were not for the pharmeceutical drug.
Think about that. Bisphosphonates may make for denser bones but your bones may be weaker than normal bones. This is one reason that health care professionals will limit the amount of time you would be taking a Bisphosophate prescription.
2. There are also some pharmeceutical drugs that work to build stronger bones by stimulating your bone building cells (Osteoblasts) to build more bone. One of the potential side effects of these drugs may be unregulated growth of some cells. And since cancer is unregulated cell growth, a potential side effect of these drugs would be cancer.
3. Some drugs normally prescribed for hypertension have been found to increase bone density.
If you want to read about ALL the drugs currently approved to treat bone loss, do go to the Osteoporosis Osteopenia Medications page.
There are many ways to build bone that do not include Medicine Osteopenia, Osteoporosis. In fact, in some parts of the world health care providers would suggest one (or a combination) of these natural bone building treatments. Why? These methods are have been shown to be effective (There are scientific studies). They are usually less expensive that prescription drugs and they usualy have fewer potential side effects than pharmeceutical medicines.
You can read about them on the Natural treatments pages of this site.