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Medications and medical conditions can increase the risk of osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures.

Drugs and Diseases that can Cause Bone Loss, Falls and/or Fractures

There are several well known risk factors for osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures such as age, sex, low body weight, a low bone mineral density, a past fragility fracture, having a parent who had a hip fracture and a past history of fall(s).

Less well known are which medications and medical conditions that can increase the risk of osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures either by causing more thinning of bones, by increasing the risk of falls or both.

Osteoporosis that results from having another disease or condition or from the treatment of another condition is called secondary osteoporosis.


A variety of medications can increase bone loss and/or fall risk:

  • Synthetic Glucocorticoids (e.g. prednisone)
  • Breast Cancer Drugs
  • Prostate Cancer Drugs
  • “Heartburn” Drugs
  • Depo-Provera
  • Excessive Thyroid Hormone Replacement
  • Anti-seizure and Mood-altering Drugs
  • Blood Pressure Medication
  • Diuretics
  • Prostate Drugs
  • Other Drugs (e.g. acetaminophen, narcotic and opioid medications, aluminum-containing antacids, thiazolidinediones, antirejection/immuosuppressive therapy, heparin, some cancer chemotherapy drugs)

Medical Conditions

A variety of diseases or conditions can increase bone loss and/or fall risk. Some of the more common examples are listed below:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis and Other Rheumatological Conditions
  • Malabsorption Syndromes
  • Sex Hormone Deficiency (Hypogonadism)
  • Primary Hyperparathyroidism
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Chronic Liver Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Untreated Hyperthyroidism
  • Neurological Disorders

How To Minimize The Harmful Effects of Medications and Other Medical Conditions On Bone

  • Talk to your doctor
  • Get enough calcium, protein and vitamin D
  • Regular exercise
  • No smoking and reduced alcohol consumption
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