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Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Medications for Osteoporosis While Taking Prednisone
I am 34 years old and have been taking Prednisone for 4 years for my RA. I will be taking Prednisone for the rest of my life to help control my RA. I have taken as high as 20mg per day but usualy I am taking 5mg per day. I was told by my nurse to take calcuim and Vitamin D because of my use of Prednisone. Another doctor that I see asked me if I was taking any thing for Osteoporosis. Is calcuim and Vitamin D enough or should I talk to my doctor about adding something for Osteoporosis?
Some experts believe that if you are going to be on steroids like Prednisone longterm that you should take a bisphosphonate medication (there are several options in this osteoporosis drug category) to prevent osteoporosis. However, if you are female and might have more children, taking one of those medications would not be advisable. You might consider checking your bone density at the hip and spine with a DXA scan. If your T-scores and Z-scores are normal, the Prednisone may not be having an adverse effect on your bones. You should still be conscientious about calcium and vitamin D intake as well as exercise.
Margery Gass, MD
Formely, Professor, Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati