What is calcitonin?

Calcitonin (some brand names: Calcimar, Miacalcin) is a hormone that helps prevent further bone loss and reduces the pain that some people have with osteoporosis.

Calcitonin can be taken as a shot or as a nasal spray. Its most common side effect is nausea.

What is ibandronate sodium?

Ibandronate sodium (brand name: Boniva) is a new drug that is taken once a month. It is not a hormone, but it slows bone loss and increases bone density. Some of the possible side effects include upset stomach, heartburn, nausea and diarrhea.

What are alendronate and risedronate?

Alendronate (brand name: Fosamax) and risedronate (brand name: Actonel) are not hormones, but are used to help prevent and treat osteoporosis. These drugs help reduce the risk of fractures by decreasing the rate of bone loss. Their most common side effect is an upset stomach.

What is raloxifene?

Raloxifene (brand name: Evista) is a drug used to prevent and treat osteoporosis by increasing bone density. It is not a hormone, but it mimics some of the effects of estrogen. Side effects may include hot flashes and a risk of blood clots.

What is teriparatide?

Teriparatide (brand name: Forteo) is a new injectable synthetic hormone used once a day for the treatment of osteoporosis. It causes new bone growth. Common side effects may include nausea, dizziness and leg cramps.

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