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Medicines, Osteoporosis, and Fractures

Topic Overview

Many medicines seem to be related to bone fractures or to bone thinning (osteoporosis) that can lead to fractures. These medicines include:

  • Corticosteroids, used to treat conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). If used for a period of 6 months or longer, corticosteroids can lead to steroid-induced osteoporosis.
  • Thyroid replacement medicine, if the dose is more than the body needs. This should be monitored by checking the level of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) at least every year.
  • Antiseizure medicines, such as phenytoin or carbamazepine.
  • Medicines used to treat endometriosis, such as leuprolide (Lupron Depot) and nafarelin acetate (Synarel).
  • Aromatase inhibitors, used to treat breast cancer.
  • Hormone therapy to treat prostate cancer.
  • Some antidepressant medicines called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRIs are used to treat many conditions, including depression, fibromyalgia, and premenstrual syndrome.
  • Heparin, a blood thinner, if used for a long time.
  • Depo-Provera, a birth control medicine given by injection, if used for a long time.
  • Antacids that contain aluminum, if they are overused. Aluminum-containing antacids remove calcium from your body.
  • Some diabetes medicines, such as pioglitazone (Actos) and rosiglitazone (Avandia).

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Carla J. Herman, MD, MPH - Geriatric Medicine
Last Revised November 6, 2012

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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