Chronic administration of many drugs, especially anti-convulsant medications, glucocorticoids, and GnRH agonists, are known to produce osteopenia and osteoporosis. The anticonvulsants inhibit formation of active D3; chronic glucocorticoid therapy increases bone turnover by altering osteoblast differentiation and inhibiting collagen synthesis; and the GnRH agonists induce chemical hypogonadism.
Clinical trials have demonstrated that the use of the bisphosphonates, nasal calcitonin, or human rPTH combined with calcium and vitamin D supplementation is effective in preventing drug-induced osteoporosis. Thus, individuals receiving over the long term any medication that can induce osteomalacia should also take one of these compounds and have periodic bone density determinations.
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