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New Osteoporosis Treatments on the Horizon

Osteoporosis is the thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density which affects millions of people all over the world. Women over 50 and men over the age of 70 are at the highest risk for osteoporosis. Those who have dealt with the condition or who have watched loved ones deal with it know that it can lead to a range of problems such as fractures, broken bones, chronic pain, and more.

Osteoporosis is linked to decreased levels of estrogen in women and testosterone in men. This decrease usually occurs over time, which is why osteoporosis becomes a much greater threat as you get older. Along with these hormonal decreases, there are other causes that have been connected to osteoporosis such as rheumatoid arthritis, kidney disease, eating disorders and certain medications like prednisone.

Currently, there are a number of medications used to combat the effects of osteoporosis, but some of the most effective and most commonly used come in the form of an injection. For many, the process is painful or, at the very least, incredibly inconvenient. However, two new possible treatments are being developed, and many hope that they will someday replace the need for osteoporosis-related injections entirely.

New Treatments for Osteoporosis

The need for injections makes it difficult (and at times expensive) for millions of Americans trying to manage osteoporosis. However, there are those who believe the future of osteoporosis treatment lies in the power of an implanted microchip, which automatically injects the necessary medicine:

“In a first of its kind study, Massachusetts researchers implanted the experimental microchip in the waistline of seven women with osteoporosis. The chip released precise dosages of the osteoporosis drug Teriparatide, commonly known as Forteo, either prescheduled or triggered remotely by radio communication.” (from Microchip Could Replace Osteoporosis Shot).

So far, researchers have been pleased with the results, and patients who took part in the trial reported that they could not even feel the microchip. It is believed by many medical professionals that a large number of people suffering from osteoporosis see the condition worsen simply because they do not remember to take pills daily or they cannot bring themselves to undergo the pain often related with daily injections. It is hoped by researchers of this particular trial that the automated and seemingly painless injections carried out by the implant would ensure that those with osteoporosis never go without the necessary daily medication.

Another potential new osteoporosis treatment involves a new technology that also hopes to replace the need for daily injections. It comes in the form of a nano-enabled nasal spray:

“Teriparatide, an excellent recent addition to the range of drugs used for the treatment of osteoporosis, but it currently needs to be injected every day. The consortium will exploit a recent discovery in nanotechnology to develop a nasal spray formulation of Teriparatide that is easy to administer by patients and provides optimal drug plasma levels to enhance efficacy.” (from Nano-enabled nasal spray for osteoporosis).

While implanted microchips and nanotechnology-based nasal sprays might have the sound of science fiction, they are moving closer to reality. Researchers and other medical professionals are confident and hopeful that both of these treatments could make the treatment of osteoporosis much easier for those suffering from the condition or for their caretakers.

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In the meantime, there are other options available for those living with osteoporosis. It’s important to talk to your doctor or other trusted medical professional to learn all of the risks and treatment options related to osteoporosis. Also, keep in mind that many people do not realize that they have osteoporosis until they suffer a fracture and it is too late. As with many conditions, early detection can go a long way in helping prevent further complications. There are bone density tests and other procedures that those at risk of osteoporosis can undergo to help catch the condition even before symptoms manifest.

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