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NICE recommends alendronate for osteoporosis

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NICE has recommended the drug alendronate to prevent osteoporotic fragility fractures in postmenopausal women for use in NHS hospitals.

Osteoporosis is an age-related disease which can affect both sexes, but women are at increased risk after the menopause because bone loss accelerates.

In the first national guidance on the primary prevention of osteoporotic fractures, NICE recommends alendronate for all postmenopausal women with a confirmed diagnosis of osteoporosis provided they have an independent clinical risk factor for fracture, and either/or an indicator of low bone mineral density.

For women who have already suffered a fracture, the institute recommends that alendronate be given to all postmenopausal women with a confirmed diagnosis of osteoporosis.

If alendronate cannot be tolerated, NICE has recommended risedronate and etidronate as alternative options.

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