Postmenopausal Osteoporosis Treatment: Is Ostora Safe?

by Laura Ramirez on October 3, 2011

Women who receive postmenopausal osteoporosis treatment have a number of options when it comes to taking prescription drugs to slow the progression of osteoporosis. While there is no currently no cure for osteoporosis, drugs do work to prevent the breakdown of certain types of bones cells with the goal of increasing bone density overall.

You’ve no doubt seen the commercials with Sally Fields promoting Boniva for postmenopausal osteoporosis. You’ve also probably heard of Fosamax. Now studies of a drug called Ostora have shown that it is effective and may provide a viable alternative to women who cannot tolerate or do not do well on other prescription medicines. Ostora is a once-daily oral medication made from calcitonin from salmon. Calcitonin has an established history of being safe and effective for menopausal women in the treatment of osteoporosis. Previously this was only available through injection or by inhaling it through the nasal passages.

Here’s what an article from MedicalNewsToday has to say about the findings from this study:

Tarsa Therapeutics has presented positive safety and efficacy data from its Phase III ORACAL trial of OSTORA™, the company’s oral recombinant salmon calcitonin tablet in development for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis. These data were presented at the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 2011 Annual Meeting by ORACAL investigator Neil Binkley, MD, who is an Associate Professor of Endocrinology and Geriatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, Wisconsin.

The ORACAL study was a Phase III multinational, randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, placebo-controlled trial of Tarsa’s oral recombinant salmon calcitonin compared to commercially available, synthetic salmon calcitonin administered by nasal spray and to placebo. The trial enrolled 565 postmenopausal women in six countries with established osteoporosis.

The tablet form of calcitonin was shown to be as safe and effective as the injectable and inhalant form.

postmenopausal osteoporosis treatment

Postmenopausal osteoporosis treatment does not necessarily mean taking prescription drugs. With regard to medications though, there are many options.

It is essential to find a treatment protocol that works for you in preventing the bone density loss that is characteristic of osteoporosis, whether this includes prescription medicines or not. (There are natural alternatives to taking drugs. Stay turned for a holistic program that will be available sometime in August 2012.) Since osteoporosis (and its precursor osteopenia) can be disfiguring and lead to a lifetime of disability and chronic pain, it is crucial to have your bone density checked every couple of years. The reason that being aware of the different prescription medications available is so important is that compliance is an issue: the International Osteoporosis Foundation reports that almost 50% of women stop taking their medication within a year of starting it primarily because they say that it interfered with their lifestyle or because they just couldn’t tolerate the side effects. For these women, a once daily medication might prove to be an easy alternative.

How about you? If you’re taking postmenopausal osteoporosis treatment, please tell us which drug and how long you’ve been taking it. Has it been effective in terms of increase in bone density? What are the side effects if any? What can you share with other women about the routine that you follow?

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