Medication-induced osteoporosis

Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2007 Dec;5(4):139-45. doi: 10.1007/s11914-007-0008-y.


Osteoporosis, a condition of low bone mass and microarchitectural deterioration, results in fractures with minimal trauma. Secondary osteoporosis is defined as bone loss resulting from either specific clinical disorders or medications. Some medications that can induce osteoporosis are discussed. Specifically, this article reviews the pathogenesis of glucocorticoid-induced bone loss and demonstrates the means to successfully manage the condition with a combination of calcium and vitamin D supplementation and, depending on the severity of the bone loss, bisphosphonates or parathyroid hormone. In addition, the pathophysiology of bone loss from aromatase inhibitors in women, gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists in men, anticonvulsant medications, and proton pump inhibitors is outlined. Finally, this review offers suggestions on evaluation and management of bone health in individuals treated with these medications for prolonged times.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects
  • Aromatase Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Bone Resorption / chemically induced*
  • Bone Resorption / drug therapy
  • Bone Resorption / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Osteoporosis / chemically induced*
  • Osteoporosis / drug therapy
  • Osteoporosis / prevention & control
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / adverse effects


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Aromatase Inhibitors
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors