More effective drug discovered for steroid-induced bone lossAlendronate used to be the drug of choice in patients with steroids-induced osteoporosis. Recently, however, researchers discovered that the drug teriparatide can help increase bone density better and is better at reducing incidence of vertebral fractures in osteoporotic patients.

Steroid induced osteoporosis is common among patients taking maintenance drugs like prednisone, prednisolone, dexamethasone and cortisone. These types of steroids are called glucocorticoids. They are hormones that are also produced naturally by the body. It helps reduce inflammation among patients with autoimmune disease. Patients with lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and asthma usually take these types of medicines.

In a study conducted, 428 patients with confirmed osteoporosis were divided into two groups. The first group was given 5 mg of prednisone a day for three consecutive months or more. The second group received 10 mg of alendronate a day with an additional placebo injection. All participants received 1,000mg of calcium everyday and 800 International Units of Vitamin D a day.

Results showed patients who received teriparatide had an 11% increase in bone mineral density while patients who received alendronate and placebo showed a 5.3% increase in their bone mineral density.

Researchers concluded that teriparatide is a more effective and safe treatment for steroid induced osteoporosis