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How should one deal with osteoporosis?

Q: My sister is suffering from SLE for the past 14 years and presently she is on immuno-suppressant steroids that includes Cyclosporine and Mycophenole Mofetil tablets and of late she has developed a severe pain in spine and is unable to get up on her own and she needs support to lift and undergoing physiotherapy in my work place. What medicines should she take to get rid of this unbearable pain? She is taking Proxyvon, dolo-650 and miacalcic nasal spray regularly to relieve the pain but still the pain is not reducing. The x-ray of the spine has been taken. My sister has become weak as a result of taking steroids. How can this pain be cured?

A:The condition/problem that your sister has in her spine is called glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis. You must ask your rheumatologist who would be able to advise how best to treat the condition. Opinion and advice of experts in metabolic bone disease (endocrinologists specialising in osteoporosis) may also be taken. The drugs that are commonly used in this condition are called bisphosphonates. These are combined with adequate doses of vitamin D2 and adequate amounts of calcium. There is a new, but extremely expensive, drug that is available for this condition by the name teriparatide. I would suggest you visit your treating doctor, and take his/her advice.

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