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These are drugs that build bone strength. They work by increasing the activity of the cells that make new bone. They are used to treat osteoporosis. They are also being studied for: reducing the risk of bone pain caused by cancer that has spread to the bone and treating hypercalcemia (when calcium levels in the blood are too high). Examples are Fosamax (chemical name: alendronate sodium) and Actonel (chemical name: risedronate).

For more information, visit's Bone Health section. Or, read about taking bisphosphonates for pain.

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Audio contributed by: Shirley Jones

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