Is Ipriflavone Effective in Treating Osteoporosis?


I took Ipriflavone for about a year and a half in 2002, but stopped when an alternative provider recommended other treatments. Now I am 72, and a recent DEXA scan showed a much lower T-score. Is there any benefit to this drug? What has research shown?


A study was conducted to determine if Ipriflavone was a safe and effective way to prevent postmenopausal bone loss. The study involved 474 women ages 45 to 75 years old with lower than normal bone mineral densities (BMD). Some participants were given 600 mg of Ipriflavone each day, while others were given a placebo. Every participant received a 500 mg calcium supplement each day. The study found that Ipriflavone does not prevent bone loss. It also found that there are some risks associated with Ipriflavone use. Some women taking Ipriflavone developed lymphocytopenia, which is a disorder marked by low levels of lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell associated with immune health. Based on this information, it might be best to explore alternative methods to prevent osteoporosis.

There are other ways to prevent and treat osteoporosis. The National Women’s Health Network encourages women to use behavioral changes such as a healthy diet, strength training, and balance exercises to prevent falls and fractures. Based on scientific evidence, the National Institutes of Health reported that calcium and Vitamin D play a critical role in developing and preserving strong bones. Dietary supplements can be used for those who do not get an adequate amount of Vitamin D and calcium through their diet.

So far, research indicates that the herbal supplement Ipriflavone is not effective at treating osteoporosis and can cause rare but serious side effects. Cases of severe osteoporosis can be addressed with medications that the FDA has reviewed for safety and efficacy. However, it is important to note that all drugs come with risks. Consult with your doctor to determine the osteoporosis prevention and treatment plan that is right for you.

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