Treatment options for osteoporosis include medication and lifestyle changes, according to Mayo Clinic. The medication options include common bisphosphonates and hormone therapy, but there are side effects to these medications.
The most widely used medications for osteoporosis are bisphosphonates, and these include Fosamax, Actonel and Boniva, explains Mayo Clinic. These medications may cause side effects, however, including abdominal pain, nausea, difficulty swallowing and the risk of ulcers. The side effects of these medications are less likely if taking the medication properly or through an intravenous form. For some people, it may be easier to get a quarterly or annual injection than to take a pill once a week or month, but it is more expensive.
Hormone therapy, such as estrogen, is also used for osteoporosis, especially in women, claims Mayo Clinic. Estrogen, however, may raise a woman's chance of developing cancer, heart disease or blood clots. Raloxifene is a drug that is similar to estrogen, but it does not have as many risks. Men may benefit from hormone therapy such as testosterone supplements.
There are other osteoporosis medications that also may work for osteoporosis such as Prolia and Forteo, states Mayo Clinic. Prolia is similar to bisphosphonates in the way it works, and Forteo is similar to hormone therapy.