Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Current approaches to osteoporosis treatment

Lim, Sian Yik; Bolster, Marcy B.

Current Opinion in Rheumatology: May 2015 - Volume 27 - Issue 3 - p 216–224
doi: 10.1097/BOR.0000000000000169
Editor's Choice

Purpose of review Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder in which bone strength is decreased leading to an increased risk of fracture. In line with advances in knowledge of bone biology, the past several years have held major therapeutic advances in osteoporosis treatment. In this article, we review the current approaches to osteoporosis treatment with a focus on issues of interest to the practicing rheumatologist.

Recent findings In addition to the bisphosphonates, the introduction of denosumab, teriparatide and selective oestrogen-receptor modulators, as well as the development of new therapeutic agents (romosozumab and odanacatib) has opened the door to new approaches, including individualization of treatment in different clinical circumstances based on patient comorbidities and preference; combination therapy to optimize treatment effect; and consideration of goal-based treatment. Postmarketing surveillance of bisphosphonates has revealed several safety concerns including osteonecrosis of the jaw and atypical femoral fractures. Bisphosphonate drug holidays should be considered in patients on bisphosphonate therapy because prolonged treatment may be associated with adverse events.

Summary Substantial progress has been made in the past several years in the understanding and modification of osteoporosis management. Many conditions encountered by rheumatologists are associated with bone loss; therefore, the rheumatologist needs to be aware of the current approaches in osteoporosis management.

Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Correspondence to Sian Yik Lim, Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology Mas. sachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street Bulfinch 165, Boston, MA 02114, USA. Tel: +1 617 726 28. 70; e-mail:

Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.