Good News for Bones

What's new in the treatment of osteoporosis?

* Fosamax. Approved last week, Fosamax is the first new drug for osteoporosis in 20 years. The drug, chemically known as alendronate, helps to increase bone density.

* Calcitonin nasal spray. The hormone calcitonin, now available as an injectable medication, may soon be approved as a nasal spray. The medication helps slow the rate of bone loss.

* Sodium fluoride. An experimental regimen using a slow-release form of the chemical has shown promise in increasing bone strength and reducing the risk of fracture. A new drug application on slow-release sodium fluoride has been submitted to the FDA.

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