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• The prevalence of osteoporosis in the United States in adults > 50 years of age is “more than 10 million people overall and 33 million have low bone mineral density (BMD) at the hip” (DynaMed Plus, 2018).

• To combat postmenopausal osteoporosis, two treatment options include bisphosphonates and the anti-receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa β ligand (RANKL) agent (denosumab).

• The purpose of this scholarly project is to determine if there is a statistical significance regarding safety, efficacy, and preference between bisphosphonates and denosumab.

• Three databases were searched: PubMed, CINAHL, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Topics researched included: postmenopausal osteoporosis, bisphosphonates, anti-RANKL agent, treatment outcome, adverse effects, and efficacy. Research was conducted from September 12, 2018 to January 29, 2019. All works published within the last 10 years.

• The most effective treatment for postmenopausal osteoporosis is denosumab. It is just as safe, more efficacious, better adhered to, and more preferred than bisphosphonates.

• This scholarly project compares the treatment options available to providers and allows them to choose the best option based on the patient’s needs, safety, efficacy, preference, and cost.


Physician Assistant Studies

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)

First Advisor

Jeanie McHugo

Publication Date



postmenopausal osteoporosis; bisphosphonates; anti-RANKL agent; treatment outcome; adverse effects; efficacy


Endocrine System Diseases

Comparison of Pharmacologic Treatments for Postmenopausal Osteoporosis