Bisphosphonates

1. Alendronate (Fosamax) (10 mg/day or 70 mg once weekly) or risedronate (Actonel) (5 mg/day or 35 mg once weekly) are good choices for the treatment of osteoporosis. Bisphosphonate therapy increases bone mass and reduces the incidence of vertebral and nonvertebral fractures.

2. Alendronate (5 mg/day or 35 mg once weekly) and risedronate (5 mg/day of 35 mg once weekly) have been approved for prevention of osteoporosis.

3. Alendronate or risedronate should be taken with a full glass of water 30 minutes before the first meal or beverage of the day. Patients should not lie down for at least 30 minutes after taking the dose to avoid the unusual complication of pill-induced esophagitis.

4. Alendronate is well tolerated and effective for at least seven years.

5. The bisphosphonates (alendronate or risedronate) and raloxifene are first-line treatments for prevention of osteoporosis. The bisphosphonates are first-line therapy for treatment of osteoporosis. Bisphosphonates are preferred for prevention and treatment of osteoporosis because they increase bone mineral density more than raloxifene.

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