Pharmaceutical Treatments of Osteoporosis

Bruce H. Mitlak, David B. Burr, Matthew R. Allen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Osteoporosis is a common disease and the societal burden of osteoporosis-related fractures is substantial. Progress in the development of new therapies has occurred rapidly over the beginning of the 2000s to include nutritional and pharmacological (both anticatabolic and anabolic). These US Food and Drug Administration-approved agents all significantly reduce fracture risk, albeit through slightly different mechanisms. Anticatabolic agents, bisphosphonates, estrogen, selective estrogen receptor modulators, calcitonin, and anti-RANKL antibody (denosumab) target osteoclast development or activity to reduce remodeling. The only approved anabolic agent, teriparatide, targets osteoblast activity to enhance bone formation. The efficacy of these agents individually has let to interest in assessing various combination treatments in an attempt to maximize fracture risk reduction. Emerging therapies to reduce fracture include both anticatabolic (cathepsin K inhibitors) and anabolic (anti-sclerostin antibody) agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBasic and Applied Bone Biology
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9780124160156
StatePublished - Aug 12 2013


  • Anabolic
  • Anti-sclerostin antibody
  • Anticatabolic
  • Antiremodeling
  • Bisphosphonate
  • Calcium
  • Cathepsin K inhibitor
  • Combination treatment
  • Denosumab
  • Estrogen
  • Selective estrogen receptor modulators
  • Teriparatide
  • Vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Dentistry(all)

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  • Cite this

    Mitlak, B. H., Burr, D. B., & Allen, M. R. (2013). Pharmaceutical Treatments of Osteoporosis. In Basic and Applied Bone Biology (pp. 345-363). Elsevier Inc..