Introduction: Osteoporosis and subsequent fractures are well-recognized complications of stroke. However, drug treatment strategies for osteoporosis after stroke have been rarely discussed in the current guidelines for the management of stroke or osteoporosis.Areas covered: The authors review the epidemiology, characteristics, pathophysiology, and risk prediction of post-stroke osteoporosis and fractures. Then they provide an overview of existing evidence regarding drug treatment strategies for osteoporosis in stroke patients. They also review the effects on bone mineral density (BMD) and fractures for those drugs commonly used in stroke patients.Expert opinion: Currently, there is scarce evidence. A small randomized control trial suggested that a single use of 4 mg of intravenous zoledronate within 5 weeks of stroke onset was beneficial for preserving BMD, while simultaneous use of calcium and vitamin D supplements may be effective in preventing hypocalcemia. Further studies are needed to address several important issues of post-stroke osteoporosis, including who (the eligibility for treatment), when (the best timing of treatment), what (which drug), and how long (the best duration of treatment). On the other hand, physicians should bear in mind that drugs commonly used for stroke, such as statins or warfarin, may have beneficial or adverse effects on BMD and fracture risks.
Keywords: Osteoporosis; antiresorptive medications; fracture; osteoanabolic agents; stroke.
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