The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) said it endorses the new osteoporosis treatment guidelines issued by the American College of Physicians (ACP).
The new guidelines, which include a clinical practice guideline, recommend that women with osteoporosis be treated with biphosphonates. Common drug names of bisphosphonates include Fosamax, Actonel, and Atelvia. Other recommended pharmaceutical treatments include Prolia and Reclast.
The ACP recommends that the first course of treatment for osteoporosis involve pharmacologic treatment, but also advises doctors to talk about the importance of adherence to a prescription drug regimen.
The ACP also recommends that physicians abandon the practice of bone density monitoring during the five-year recommended treatment period in women, concluding that current scientific evidence shows no benefit for the practice.
Additionally, the ACP recommends that patients suffering from osteoporosis avoid using menopausal estrogen therapy or menopausal estrogen plus progestogen of raloxifene for osteoporosis. Even with the guidelines, the ACP supports doctors making individual choices in whether or not to treat osteoporosis in women 65 and older. Some factors to consider include patient preferences, the costs of medication and a patient's fracture risk profile.
The ACP guideline is consistent with the AAFP guidelines for osteoporosis screening, recommending that women 65 and older be screened for the condition, as well as those with increased risk factors at a younger age.
"Once a woman is screened, and the diagnosis of osteoporosis is made, this guideline helps clinicians determine the appropriate treatment," Jennifer Frost, medical director for the AAFP Health of the Public and Science Division, said in an AAFP release.