Monitoring pharmacological therapy for osteoporosis
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- Lewiecki, E.M. Rev Endocr Metab Disord (2010) 11: 261. doi:10.1007/s11154-010-9126-4
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Osteoporosis is a common disease characterized by low bone strength that increases the risk of fractures. The consequences of fractures include increases in morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs. Randomized clinical trials have shown that pharmacological therapy can reduce the risk of fractures. In clinical practice, however, failure to achieve optimal therapeutic benefit is common for reasons that include taking medication incorrectly, stopping it prematurely, malabsorption, and the presence of unrecognized diseases or conditions with adverse skeletal effects. Monitoring for anti-fracture effectiveness in individual patients is limited by the absence of clinical tools to directly measure bone strength. It is therefore necessary to monitor therapy with biomarkers such as bone mineral density and bone turnover markers. This is a review of the utility of these tools in the care of individual patients.