March 20, 2020

Dear Friends,

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread in communities across the country, we know that there is increasing uncertainty and anxiety as we are less able to plan and are worried about the health and well-being of ourselves, our loved ones and our communities. We must not panic, but instead practice patience and compassion. 

The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) has been monitoring the situation from a variety of sources and putting plans in place to address the ongoing needs, health and well-being of our NOF community. Following is information for patients/caregivers and healthcare providers that we hope will be helpful to you.

For Osteoporosis Patients and Caregivers

Osteoporosis Medications – It is recommended that you have at least a one-month supply of your current medications on hand during this time of social distancing and self-quarantine. This includes your osteoporosis medications. 

  • If you are taking the following oral medications or self-injectables to treat your osteoporosis, please check with your healthcare provider to make sure you have adequate amounts on hand:
    • Alendronate (brand names: Fosamax®, Binosto®)
    • Ibandronate (brand name: Boniva®
    • Risedronate (brand names: Actonel®, Atelvia™)
    • Raloxifene (brand name: Evista®)
    • Calcitonin (brand names: Fortical®, Miacalcin® o Estrogen (multiple brands)
    • Estrogen/Bazedoxifene (brand name Duavee®)
    • Teriparatide (brand name: Forteo®) If you finish your 2 years of teriparatide or decide to discontinue the medication, please discuss an alternative medication so you do not have bone loss when you stop it.
    • Abaloparatide (brand name: Tymlos®) If you finish your two years of abaloparatide or decide to discontinue the medication, please discuss an alternative medication so you do not have bone loss when you stop it.
  • It is extremely important that patients taking the following medications administered by a healthcare provider stay on time for scheduled injections:
    • Denosumab (brand name Prolia®) – If you skip or delay taking a dose, you have an increased risk for breaking a bone, especially if you already have a broken bone in your spine. Please discuss your schedule with your healthcare professional as soon as possible. 
    • Romosozumab (brand name Evenity®) – If you miss or delay a dose of EVENITY®please contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible to schedule your next dose.
    • Zoledronic acid (brand name: Reclast®): This is a once-a-year infusion and can be delayed for a short period of time since the medication lasts a long time. Please discuss the schedule with your healthcare professional. 
  • For all medications, if you have questions or concerns, be sure to discuss your osteoporosis management and treatment schedule with your healthcare provider.

Calcium and vitamin D – It is important to continue with the calcium (food FIRST and supplement for any shortfall in your diet) and vitamin D schedule and management that were established with your healthcare professional.

NOF recommends that all its Support Groups suspend in-person meetings as directed by local governments and health departments. NOF will be providing access to a teleconference phone line for any Support Group Leaders who wish to use teleconferencing as a substitute for in-person meetings. Please contact info@nof.org for more information. 

We also encourage patients and caregivers to utilize NOF’s free, peer-to-peer online support community to stay connected with others who are impacted by osteoporosis and low bone mass: https://www.nof.org/patients/patient-support/osteoporosis-support-community/.

For Healthcare Providers

We are carefully evaluating the potential impact on our upcoming annual clinical meeting, the Interdisciplinary Symposium on Osteoporosis (ISO), scheduled for May 27-30, 2020 in Washington, D.C.  With just over two months until the start of the ISO, we continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 and will make a decision that is in the best interest of our community. We will provide further updates on our conference website – https://interdisciplinarysymposiumosteoporosis.org/.

If you have questions about patient care, treatment or guidelines, please visit BoneSource®, our website for healthcare professionals – https://www.bonesource.org/. Or contact NOF at education@nof.org.

Additional Information and Resources

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the elderly and adults with underlying health issues are at greatest risk for severe disease due to COVID-19. The best way to protect against respiratory illness, including COVID-19, is to continue to practice good health habits:

  • Avoid others who are sick. Separate yourself from all individuals by six (6) feet.
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
  • Disinfect surfaces around your home and/or office regularly.
  • Avoid shaking hands, hugging and kissing.
  • Avoid large gatherings.
  • If you become ill, stay home, call your doctor’s office to discuss symptoms. Go to a healthcare facility only if directed by your physician or if you are seriously ill.

Following are links to useful resources for accurate information regarding coronavirus and steps to take to avoid contracting the virus and what to do if you feel you may have been infected:

NOF suggests that everyone in its community follow the recommendations of the CDC. If you have specific medical questions related to COVID-19 and your health, please contact your healthcare provider. We hope everyone in our community will remain safe and healthy.

Sincerely,

Claire Gill
Interim CEO

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