If you are a woman over age 50, you have a one in two chance of eventually suffering a broken bone caused by osteoporosis. The risk for men is one in four. Medications can lessen the risk, but a big problem is people aren't real good about taking pills every day to protect against osteoporosis.
"With osteoporosis medicines, it's clear that fewer than 50 percent of the people who are given a prescription continue their treatment beyond a year," says Dr. Michael McClung, an endocrinologist at Portland Medical Center.
Now, Dr. McClung and his team at the Portland Medical Center are encouraged by what they see so far in testing a new treatment. It's a new medicine called AMG162 and it's a shot given in the skin just twice a year. So far, they've been following 400 women in this study and they say that already the women getting the injection have increased bone density as much as the women taking oral medications.
The injection does not appear to cause stomach upset like the pills do for some women. Women receiving AMG162 reported no more side effects than those who got a placebo injection. The new drug will likely have some side effects, but they won't be known until it's tested on more women. We'll keep you posted if the injection becomes available.