Getting the best from your osteoporosis medication

Taking the time to read the instructions carefully and adjust your routine and lifestyle can help your bones get maximum benefit - and minimise unwanted side effects.

Here's some helpful pointers, to help you succeed.

1. Familiarise yourself with the instructions

And follow them carefully for every dose.

Each medication comes with specific instructions for how to take it. Following them correctly helps your treatment work effectively and minimises unwanted side effects.

You can find the specific instructions for your prescribed medication in our directory of current osteoporosis medications, or on your patient information leaflet.

2. Get into a routine with your medication

Doing this limits the chances of missing a dose. Missing the odd dose is unlikely to affect your overall bone health, but you should try to avoid it.

If you’re taking a weekly tablet, it’s useful to choose a day that you’ll remember every week, such as the day your bins are emptied.

If you continually forget to take your medication, speak to your doctor about different treatment options.

3. Eat well for your bones

By doing your best to eat a well-balanced, calcium-rich diet, you're helping your bones get the best nutrition possible - and stay stronger for longer.

Your doctor may prescribe calcium and vitamin D supplements alongside your osteoporosis medication, if they think your intake of these nutrients is low.

Eating a bone-healthy diet and taking supplements doesn't directly reduce your risk of breaking a bone, like your osteoporosis medication does, but it does help maintain your bone strength.

4. Keep leading an active lifestyle

Keeping up with exercise as you age is important. It strengthens your muscles and keeps your bones strong - making them less likely to break by maintaining bone strength.

5. Be confident your treatment is working

Because your treatment is to reduce your risk of breaking a bone, rather than relieve pain or symptoms, we understand this can be difficult.

Be confident in the knowledge that all licensed osteoporosis medications are clinically tested, with research to prove they do reduce your risk of broken bones.

You may be offered a bone density scan during your treatment, to reassess your bone strength. If your bone density hasn't increased, you may feel this means your mediation isn't working. Be reassured that this test doesn’t give a full picture of bone strength, or show conclusively whether a treatment is working.

If you break a bone during your treatment

This doesn’t necessarily mean your medication isn't working – none are 100% effective. Do your best to keep taking your treatment and be confident it is having a positive effect.

If you experience more broken bones, speak to your doctor. They can consider a different treatment for you, or whether anything else can be done to help you reduce your risk.

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