Primary treatment for women with osteoporosis is hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which has been shown to build bone mass (even in later years) and reduce fractures.
Other treatment may include a class of drugs called selective estrogen-receptor modulators. These drugs are not as effective as estrogen but have fewer side effects. Raloxifene is the best known of this group and has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) specifically for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. It also has been shown to reduce fractures.
Both men and women may benefit from a class of drugs called bisphosphonates, which includes etidronate, alendronate and pamidronate.
Calcitonin is a naturally occurring hormone that increases bone mass in the spine. It is available as a nasal spray or as an injection.
The latest treatment for osteoporosis related Vertebral Body Compression Fractures (VCF) is kyphoplasty. Virginia Mason performs this procedure with the KyphX® Inflatable Bone Tamp.