Pharmacy World and Science

, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp 198–205 | Cite as

Prevention and Treatment of Postmenopausal Osteoporosis

  • R.B. Hallworth


The purpose of the review is to outline the interventions, both pharmacological and non‐pharmacological, available to prevent postmenopausal osteoporosis (PMO) and treat the established disease. Current suggested guidelines for the most cost‐effective treatment and prophylactic strategies are included following a consideration of the available options. As life expectancy has increased so has the incidence of PMO which has major quality of life implications for the sufferers and economic implications for the authorities responsible for their treatment. PMO represents a significant public health problem and although more effective treatments are becoming available prevention of the disease by taking account of existing risk factors is preferable. Indeed, a population approach to prevention may be more cost effective than screening for the disease. Attention to dietary calcium intake and exercise regimes have been shown to be effective prophylactic measures premenopausally, while the treatment of choice is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). HRT treats other postmenopausal symptoms in addition to PMO and is available in many presentations, containing different hormones, at different doses intended for different routes of administration. The optimum treatment duration is controversial and may contribute to some of the risks associated with HRT such as endometrial and breast carcinoma and venous thromboembolism (VTE). Newer effective treatments include the bisphosphonates and novel formulations of calcitonin, but older approaches such as vitamin D, anabolic steroids and fluoride are still utilised in some circumstances. However, most promise has been shown by synthetic hormonal modulators currently being trialled.

Bisphosphonates Calcium Hormone Replacement Therapy Menopause Osteoporosis 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • R.B. Hallworth
    • 1
  1. 1.High Lane Pharmacy, High Lane, Stockport, Cheshire, U.K. Stockport Health Authority, Springwood House, Poplar Grove, Hazel Grove, Stockport, Cheshire, U.K. Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education, Pharmacy DepartmentUniversity of ManchesterManchesterU.K.

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