A combination of two osteoporosis drugs, one at high dose, significantly increases bone mineral density in high-risk osteoporosis sufferers, according to a study of postmenopausal women.

Given together, denosumab, which prevents bone loss, and a high dose of teriparatide, which stimulates bone growth, “increases spine and hip bone mineral density more than standard combination therapy,” wrote Joy N. Tsai, M.D., Massachusetts General Hospital. 

The findings build on a previous study that proved the two-drug regimen was more effective than either drug alone. In the new study, Tsai and colleagues theorized that a larger dose of the growth-stimulating medication would further increase the combo’s effectiveness, without compromising patient safety.

“This large and rapid increase in bone mass suggest that this high dose regimen might provide a method of restoring skeletal integrity in patients with osteoporosis,” Tsai concluded.

One hitch in the clinical future for this therapy is its prohibitively high cost, according to a report by Medscape Medical News. But lower-priced generic versions of teriparatide may not be far from development, and the researchers hope that this could spell potential for a two-drug osteoporosis regimen.