Medicines, Osteoporosis, and Fractures

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).


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerCarla J. Herman, MD, MPH - Geriatric Medicine
Last RevisedNovember 6, 2012

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