Opioids and osteoporosis

Alexandra Papaioannou

Is osteoporosis caused by long-term use of strong opioids a significant clinical problem?

Alexandra Papaioannou, MD: The question is, are opioids associated with osteoporosis? One of the biggest challenges with opioids is that they are one of the leading drugs associated with falls and fractures, regardless of dose. Particularly the higher doses have the highest relative risk for fracture.

As to the long-term use, there is an association but we are not totally clear on the mechanism.

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