According to the World Health Organization criteria, osteoporosis can be defined as a bone mineral density of −2.5 or more. Dual X-ray densitometry is the recognised method for diagnosing osteoporosis. Drugs which have been shown to be efficacious in treating osteoporosis include alendronate, residronate, ibandronate, raloxifene, teriparitide and strontium ranleate. Patients with established osteoporosis should be treated. Primary prevention of osteoporosis is important at the community level.