Bisphosphonates for treating osteoporosis: Decision support from NICE

Source:
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence - NICE
Publisher:
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
Publication date:
01 September 2017

Abstract

Information to help people with osteoporosis and their health professionals discuss the options.

People with osteoporosis are more likely to break (fracture) bones than people who don’t have osteoporosis. Bisphosphonate treatment can reduce the chance (risk) of fracture by strengthening bones. There are 4 different bisphosphonates for treating osteoporosis.

NICE recommends who should have their risk of fracture assessed, and how this should be done, in its osteoporosis guidance. In its guidance on bisphosphonates NICE recommends that, for people who have had their fracture risk assessed by a health professional:
  • A bisphosphonate taken by mouth is an option if your risk of having a fracture in the next 10 years is 10 in 1,000 (1%) or greater.
  • A bisphosphonate given by injection is an option if your risk of having a fracture in the next 10 years is 100 in 1,000 (10%) or greater. It is also an option for people whose risk is 10 in 1,000 (1%) or greater who have problems taking a bisphosphonate by mouth.

You do not have to have a bisphosphonate. There are pros and cons, which this information will help your health professional to explain.