Alert
Close

We’re Giving Away $50,000! Enter Now. See Official Rules

HIGHLIGHTS

Close
AARP Staying Sharp: Keep Your Brain Healthy

AARP REALPAD

The tablet with free 24/7 customer support. Learn More

AARP VETERAN MEMBERSHIP

Military and Veterans Discount

CONTESTS AND SWEEPS

AARP’s Picture Your Retirement Sweepstakes

Enter the $50K Picture Your Retirement Sweepstakes. Ends 8/31/15. No purchase necessary. Enter for Official Rules.

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

Learning Centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.


Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

Ask the Pharmacist

Should I Keep Taking Fosamax for My Osteoporosis?

Carefully weigh the known risks of bisphosphonate drugs against their potential benefits

Drugs A – Z

Find information on drug indications, side effects and more.

Long-term use of many drugs, for example, can cause bone loss, including some that are commonly prescribed to older adults. Among them: steroids, which are used to treat a variety of inflammatory diseases and conditions; short-acting loop diuretics, which are typically prescribed to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and edema (fluid retention); and proton pump inhibitors, such as esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec), and pantoprazole (Protonix), which are typically used to treat the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

I also recommend that you read a report of the Surgeon General of the United States (it's a free download) on the best ways to promote bone health and prevent osteoporosis and fracture, which is the goal that I always focus on with my patients. The main approaches:

Diet. Make sure that you're giving your bones the best chance to stay strong by getting enough calcium (older people should take a calcium citrate — not calcium carbonate — supplement), vitamin D and other bone-building nutrients.

Exercise. Make sure that you're exercising regularly. Weight-bearing exercise — walking, jogging or anything else you can do on your feet — is best. Be sure to consult your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen.

Reduce your risk of falls and fractures. It's important to remember that falls — which play a role in approximately 90 percent of all hip fractures — are what you should really be worrying about.

So I advise my patients to take some simple, common-sense precautions at home to reduce their risk of a bone-fracturing incident: things like getting rid of throw rugs, adding some motion-activated lighting (especially in and around the bathrooms and stairs) and so forth.

I also pay special attention to medications that may adversely affect balance and stability (including benzodiazepines, antihistamines, antidepressants and antipsychotics).

As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Ask the Pharmacist is written by Armon B. Neel Jr., PharmD, CGP, in collaboration with journalist Bill Hogan. They are coauthors of Are Your Prescriptions Killing You?, which was published in July by Atria Books.

You may also like:

Go to the AARP home page for tips on keeping healthy and sharp, and great deals.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Video Extra

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Advertisement

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Walgreens 1 discount membership aarp

Members can earn 50 points per $1 spent on select health & wellness products at Walgreens.

member benefit aarp hear usa

Members save 15% on easy listening devices and more at the HearUSA Hearing Shop.

Eye Med 4 Membership Benefit AARP Discount

Members save up to 60% on eye exams and 30% on glasses at Target Optical.

Membership Benefits Discounts Email Genius

Brain boost? Get AARP email for access to memory exercises & more that help you focus.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points

Advertisement