In this medical video learn about an alternative to taking pills for osteoporosis.
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Jennifer Matthews: After menopause, a scan showed Paula Dungan had low bone density. She thought about taking a prescription pill but worried about side effects. Paula Dungan: With one that I was contemplating taking, it might accentuate hot flashes, and I wasn't looking forward to any more of those. Jennifer Matthews: So paula enrolled in a clincal trial, testing a new medicine called AMG 162, given through a shot in the skin. Paula Dungan: It's just a little sting or a little prick, and it's fine. Jennifer Matthews: Michael McClung is Paula's doctor. He says oral medications can effectively reduce fracture risk, but some women stop taking them, while others complain of stomach upset. Dr. Michael McClung: With osteoporosis medicines, it's clear that fewer than 50 percent of the people who are given a prescription continue their treatment beyond a year. Jennifer Matthews: In the trial, with 400 women, the new injection increased bone density as much as the oral medications. But since it's given through the skin, it does not cause stomach upset. And doctor McClung says there's another advantage. Dr. Michael McClung: The ability to administer AMG 162 only twice yearly provides the opportunity to get away from the difficulty that we have of people stopping their medication. Jennifer Matthews: Scientists must now prove the injection actually helps prevent fractures. To do that, they'll enroll several thousand women in another trial expected to last three years. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.