Prescription bone-building drugs such as the bisphosphonates should be a last resort according to new research from the University of Illinois in 2011. Even though these drugs have been proven to reduce osteoporotic fractures, they have very significant side effects that include GI bleeding, atrial fibrillation, muscle and joint pain, and osteonecrosis of the jaw. It was suggested that calcium and vitamin D should be replaced as the first approach along with healthy lifestyle to restore normal bone density.
Weight bearing exercise, an alkaline diet, and avoidance of smoking and alcohol are important. However, the avoidance of many pharmaceutical drugs such as the purple pill, anticonvulsants, anticoagulants, and antidepressants are also important considerations.