If you have broken a bone as a result of osteoporosis then you are more likely to break another.

The aim of all drug treatments is to lower your risk of future fractures and there are a range of effective medications that do just that. Some are available only from specialists.

A number of effective medications are approved for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. These medications must be tailored to a person’s specific needs and used in conjunction with recommended lifestyle changes.


Bisphosphonates (alendronic acid, risedronate, ibandronate) tablets are part of a ‘family’ of drugs that are commonly prescribed by doctors for people with osteoporosis.

If taken correctly they reduce your risk of breaking a bone by 50%. However, they are poorly absorbed, which is why you need to take them correctly.

Top tips when taking your weekly or monthly bisphosphonate tablets

  1. Take the tablet first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
  2. Swallow the tablet whole with a large glass (250ml) of tap water.
  3. Remain upright. Do not lay down.
  4. Move around for 60 minutes if you can.
  5. Wait 60 minutes before having any food or drink (other than tap water).
  6. Do not take your calcium supplement on the morning you take your bisphosphonate tablet (wait at least 4 hours). If you prefer, have a calcium supplement free day.
  7. Ask your local pharmacist to do a ‘medicines use review’, especially if you are taking medicines for other health conditions (see below video of a medicines use review).
  8. Speak to your dentist, good dental hygiene is important.

Example video of a Medicines Use Review

Other Treatments

Use the links below for more information on other commonly available treatments: