Recent Blog Articles

Women's Health

Ask the doctor: What do you know about Prolia and Reclast for osteoporosis?

November 01, 2011

Q. I'm looking for information on Prolia and Reclast as alternatives to Boniva.

A. All of the drugs you mention are used to treat postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, although they're in different drug classes. Ibandronate (Boniva) and zoledronic acid (Reclast, Zometa) are bisphosphonates; denosumab (Prolia) is a monoclonal antibody. Bisphosphonates interfere with the activity of osteoclasts, bone cells that are involved in normal remodeling. Osteoclasts break down (resorb) old bone. Bisphosphonates work by reducing the rate of resorption. Denosumab also reduces bone resorption but does so by inhibiting the formation of osteoclasts rather than their activity.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.

Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.

  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »

I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.

Sign Me Up

Already a member? Login ».

Disclaimer:

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.