The Effects of Osteoporotic and Non-osteoporotic Medications on Fracture Risk and Bone Mineral Density

Anna C. van der Burgh, Catherine E. de Keyser, M. Carola Zillikens, Bruno H. Stricker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)


Osteoporosis is a highly prevalent bone disease affecting more than 37.5 million individuals in the European Union (EU) and the United States of America (USA). It is characterized by low bone mineral density (BMD), impaired bone quality, and loss of structural and biomechanical properties, resulting in reduced bone strength. An increase in morbidity and mortality is seen in patients with osteoporosis, caused by the approximately 3.5 million new osteoporotic fractures occurring every year in the EU. Currently, different medications are available for the treatment of osteoporosis, including anti-resorptive and osteoanabolic medications. Bisphosphonates, which belong to the anti-resorptive medications, are the standard treatment for osteoporosis based on their positive effects on bone, long-term experience, and low costs. However, not only medications used for the treatment of osteoporosis can affect bone: several other medications are suggested to have an effect on bone as well, especially on fracture risk and BMD. Knowledge about the positive and negative effects of different medications on both fracture risk and BMD is important, as it can contribute to an improvement in osteoporosis prevention and treatment in general, and, even more importantly, to the individual’s health. In this review, we therefore discuss the effects of both osteoporotic and non-osteoporotic medications on fracture risk and BMD. In addition, we discuss the underlying mechanisms of action.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1831-1858
Number of pages28
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

Cite this