Osteoporosis Medications and the Importance of Adherence

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Dr. Daniel Ngui, B Sc. (P.T.), MD, CFPC, FCFP, Family Physician discusses Osteoporosis Medications and the Importance of Adherence

Dr. Daniel Ngui, B Sc. (P.T.), MD, CFPC, FCFP, Family Physician discusses Osteoporosis Medications and the Importance of Adherence

Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Daniel Ngui, BSc (P.T), MD, CFPC, FCFP, Family Physician Osteoporosis Medications and the Importance of Adherence Duration: 3 minutes, 38 seconds

Patients often ask physicians: what is the best medication for osteoporosis?

Our answers as providers are the best medication for osteoporosis is one that someone takes on a regular basis. Studies show that if you're not taking medications at least 50 percent of the time, the fracture risk is no different than not taking the medication at all.

There are some contributing factors to non-adherence in terms of therapy. It is often higher risk of having a non-adherent patient when patients have side effects to medications.

They are dissatisfied with medications when they have unaddressed concerns, fears about medications or when they have a very complicated regimen or routine that is necessary when taking medications. Patients who have lots of medical conditions, lots of medications are polypharmacy, are often patients who have challenges with being adherent to treatment.

Doctors understand that taking medications on a regular basis can be very challenging and a fact of life. Simply speaking to your doctor, getting advice can be really important as a first step to reducing the risk of complications from osteoporosis.

Your doctor will sit down with you and they'll often offer you with a visit with clinical pharmacist or a team member to ask you about ways to maximize adherence. They'll ask you about how you take your medications, when you take your medications.

They'll offer you different options that can maximize adherence such as medications given once a month, once every six months and perhaps every year. The doctor will ask you about your preference of taking an oral medication or having an injectable medication in your arm or perhaps an intravenous medication.

Your doctor will try to reduce the risk of painful fractures, reduce the risk of being admitted to a long term care facility, and reduce the risk of death by ensuring you have the ideal adherence to your osteoporotic medications.

Finally, it's important that you as a patient talk to your doctor about ways to improve your adherence. Ideas that your doctor offers you will be different websites where you can gain more information, patient reminder programs and adherent programs that will support you and remind you with text messaging, emails, and perhaps even phone call access.

All these types of techniques can help maximize adherence and therefore reduce the dangerous fractures related to osteoporosis.

Dr. Daniel Ngui, Family Doctor, Vancouver, BC

Presenter: Dr. Daniel Ngui, Family Doctor, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Family Doctor

Video Quiz ( 12 participated.)

Test your knowledge by answering the following questions:


In a patient that has osteoporosis, the risks of bone fracture are much higher than any risks associated with taking osteoporosis related medications.


A patient who is high risk for bone fractures have a greater than 20% risk of getting a fracture.


Patients with Osteoporosis need to focus more on muscle strength and posture rather than preventing bone fractures.


Bone fractures can cause morbidity as well as mortality.  For example, a woman who gets a hip fracture has a 23% chance of dying in the following 2 years.


A person who gets a bone fracture have a 40% chance of having another bone fracture at some point in the future. This is one reason it is so important to focus on the prevention of bone fractures.

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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