Eight tips to help you stay on treatment

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If you are finding it challenging adhering to treatment and taking your prescribed medicine, here are eight tips that will help you stay on your osteoporosis treatment.

Your doctor has prescribed osteoporosis medication for several good reasons. Medication will help you strengthen your bones, minimize your risk of suffering a break and help keep you active and independent. However, as with most long-term conditions, you have to take osteoporosis medication for a number of years to experience the benefits.

If you find this challenging or you’re tempted to stop, you’re not alone. Many people find it difficult to stay on treatment. For example, it is hard to keep taking medicine when you can’t immediately feel or see your bones getting stronger or you are taking a number of medicines for different conditions. 

Why you should stick to your treatment

Why continue taking your treatment? It’s important to remember that without regular medication, the risk of breaking a bone increases. Compared to people who stick to their osteoporosis treatment, people who don’t will have:

  • Smaller increases in bone mineral density (the strength of bones as represented by calcium content)
  • Weaker suppression of bone resorption (the breakdown of bone by cells known as osteoclasts)
  • Greater fracture risk

There is support available to help you stay on treatment and it may be worth finding out more information before you make a final decision. Below are a eight tips which may help you stay on treatment.

Eight tips for staying on treatment

  1. Speak to your health professional about difficulties you are experiencing or about any concerns regarding potential side effects. He or she will be able to give you advice on managing your osteoporosis medication and may be able to suggest other treatment options if you are having difficulties.
  2. Contact your local patient society; they can offer you support and put you in touch with other people who are in a similar situation. You can also communication with people who have osteoporosis on the OsteoLink site.
  3. If you take regular pills for your osteoporosis, try to take your treatment at the same time each day, week or month.
  4. Think about ways to take your medication (e.g. first thing in the morning before breakfast) in order to minimize the impact on your everyday life.
  5. Use a diary to remind yourself to take your medication and collect your prescription, or put a reminder somewhere you will see it frequently.
  6. Make a note of the specific actions you need to remember when taking your treatment and keep this somewhere memorable.
  7. Be prepared and plan for changes in your routine that will make it more difficult for you to take your medication, such as holidays or special events.
  8. Ask your family and friends to support you to stay on treatment. Tell them about your medication and explain to them why it is important for you to avoid broken bones.

LYB logoThis article appeared in our monthly Love Your Bones newsletter - sent free to all IOF members.

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