Tag Archives: negative

Strontium Ranelate Associated with Unfavorable Cardiac Risk


Nationwide registry-based analysis of cardiovascular risk factors and adverse outcomes in patients treated with strontium ranelate.

National registers showed that a large proportion of patients treated with strontium ranelate have conditions that may now contraindicate use. The risk of death in strontium ranelate-treated patients was significantly higher than that seen in users of other osteoporosis drugs even after adjusting for cardiovascular risk factor profile.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) recently warned that strontium ranelate should be avoided in patients with ischaemic heart disease (IHD), peripheral vascular disease (PVD) or cerebrovascular disease (CVD), and in patients with uncontrolled hypertension. We investigated to what extent patients beginning strontium ranelate had cardiovascular conditions and determined the rates of MI, stroke and death.
Using the Danish National Prescription Database, we identified all 3,252 patients aged 50+ who began strontium ranelate in 2005-2007 and 35,606 users of other osteoporosis drugs as controls. Hospital contacts and causes of death were retrieved from national registers.
Patients starting strontium were older than patients treated with other osteoporosis drugs and more likely to suffer from IHD, PVD or CVD (combined prevalence 19.2 % in female users and 29.5 % in male users). The adjusted risk of MI was not significantly increased (women: HR 1.05 [95 % CI 0.79-1.41, p = 0.73]; men: 1.28 [0.74-2.20, p = 0.38]). For stroke, the adjusted HR was 1.23 (0.98-1.55, p = 0.07) in women and 1.64 (0.99-2.70, p = 0.05) in men. All-cause mortality was higher in strontium users (women: adjusted HR 1.20 [1.10-1.30, p < 0.001]; men: adjusted HR 1.22 [1.03-1.45, p < 0.05]).
Patients treated with strontium ranelate have an unfavourable cardiovascular risk profile compared with users of other osteoporosis drugs. However, only the risk of death differed significantly from the rates observed in users of other osteoporosis drugs adjusted for risk factor profile. A large proportion of patients currently treated with strontium ranelate have conditions that would now be considered contraindications according to EMA.

Abrahamsen B, Grove EL, Vestergaard P
Osteoporos Int Feb 2014
PMID: 24322475

Depression Associated With Bone Mass in Premenopausal Women


Do premenopausal women with major depression have low bone mineral density? A 36-month prospective study.

An inverse relationship between major depressive disorder (MDD) and bone mineral density (BMD) has been suggested, but prospective evaluation in premenopausal women is lacking.
Participants of this prospective study were 21 to 45 year-old premenopausal women with MDD (n = 92) and healthy controls (n = 44). We measured BMD at the anteroposterior lumbar spine, femoral neck, total hip, mid-distal radius, trochanter, and Ward’s triangle, as well as serum intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH), ionized calcium, plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), serum cortisol, and 24-hour urinary-free cortisol levels at 0, 6, 12, 24, and 36 months. 25-hydroxyvitamin D was measured at baseline.
At baseline, BMD tended to be lower in women with MDD compared to controls and BMD remained stable over time in both groups. At baseline, 6, 12, and 24 months intact PTH levels were significantly higher in women with MDD vs. controls. At baseline, ionized calcium and 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were significantly lower in women with MDD compared to controls. At baseline and 12 months, bone-specific alkaline phosphatase, a marker of bone formation, was significantly higher in women with MDD vs. controls. Plasma ACTH was also higher in women with MDD at baseline and 6 months. Serum osteocalcin, urinary N-telopeptide, serum cortisol, and urinary free cortisol levels were not different between the two groups throughout the study.
Women with MDD tended to have lower BMD than controls over time. Larger and longer studies are necessary to extend these observations with the possibility of prophylactic therapy for osteoporosis.
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT 00006180.

Cizza G, Mistry S, Nguyen VT, Eskandari F…
PLoS ONE 2012
PMID: 22848407 | Free Full Text

Review: Calcium Safety and New Recommendations


Calcium builds strong bones, and more is better–correct? Well, maybe not.

Calcium supplementation has been considered the gold standard therapy for osteoporosis in the general population. It is given in both the placebo and treatment groups of trials evaluating antifracture efficacy of new therapies. Similarly, calcium-based phosphate binders have been considered the gold standard comparator for all new phosphate binders. However, large randomized trials demonstrate conflicting data on the antifracture efficacy of calcium supplementation, particularly in high doses, in patients with osteoporosis without CKD. In addition, recent data suggest an increased risk for cardiovascular events. These new studies raise safety concerns for the general approach with calcium supplementation and binders. This review describes recent data on the adverse effects of calcium supplementation for osteoporosis and how these new data should affect the strategy for phosphate binder use in CKD.

Jamal SA, Moe SM
Clin J Am Soc Nephrol Nov 2012
PMID: 22837272 | Free Full Text

It is important to note that some clinical practice guidelines have been modified on the basis of this new literature suggesting potential risk. For example, in its recently published evidence-based guidelines, Osteoporosis Canada recommended a total intake of calcium (from diet and supplement) of 1200 mg per day, a decrease from the previous recommendation of 1500 mg in supplements (32). The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research issued a statement regarding the potential risks of calcium supplements and suggested, among other points, that “the beneficial effects of calcium are found with relatively low doses. More is not necessarily better. Individuals should discuss the amount of their calcium intake with their healthcare provider” (33). The Institute of Medicine now recommends a daily dietary reference allowance of calcium of 1000–1200 mg per day in the form of diet and supplements (34,35). Finally, the draft United States Preventive Services Task Force statement, pending public comment (http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/draftrec3.htm), currently states “the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of the benefits and harms of combined vitamin D and calcium supplementation for the primary prevention of fractures in premenopausal women or in men.” Thus, these authorities acknowledge that although some calcium supplements may be beneficial for bone health, too much calcium may be harmful.

European Medicines Agency Recommends Restricting the use of Strontium Ranelate

In January 2014, the European Medicines Agency’s Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) recommended that Protelos/Osseor (Strontium Ranelate) should no longer be used to treat osteoporosis. Then, in February 2014,  it concluded its review of Protelos/Osseor and recommended further restricting the use of the medicine to patients who cannot be treated with other medicines approved for osteoporosis.

The following is from their press release:

In addition these patients should continue to be evaluated regularly by their doctor and treatment should be stopped if patients develop heart or circulatory problems, such as uncontrolled high blood pressure or angina. As recommended in a previous review, patients who have a history of certain heart or circulatory problems, such as stroke and heart attack, must not use the medicine.

These final recommendations from the Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) come after initial advice from the Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) to suspend the medicine due to its cardiovascular risk.

‘The CHMP agreed with the PRAC’s overall assessment of the risks of Protelos/Osseor. Both committees worked in close collaboration and the PRAC’s recommendation was instrumental for us to fully assess the benefit-risk profile of the medicine’, said Tomas Salmonson, chair of the CHMP. ‘However, the CHMP considered that, for patients who have no alternative treatment, regular screening and monitoring to exclude cardiovascular disease will sufficiently reduce the risk identified by the PRAC so that these patients can continue to have access to the medicine.’

In arriving at its conclusions, the CHMP noted that study data showed a beneficial effect in preventing fractures, including in patients at high risk of fracture. In addition, available data do not show evidence of an increased cardiovascular risk with Protelos/Osseor in patients who did not have a history of heart or circulatory problems.

The CHMP considered that the cardiovascular risk in patients taking Protelos/Osseor can be managed by restricting its use to patients with no history of heart and circulatory problems and limiting its use to those who cannot take other medicines approved for the treatment of osteoporosis. In addition, patients treated with Protelos/Osseor should be screened and monitored regularly, every 6 to 12 months.

Additional risk minimisation measures include providing educational material to prescribers to ensure that only the appropriate patients are treated with the medicine. Importantly, the company is required to conduct further research to demonstrate the effectiveness of the new measures. The Committee concluded that given the benefits seen in preventing fractures in patients at high risk, Protelos/Osseor should remain an option for patients with no history of cardiovascular disease who cannot take other medicines.

In deciding on how Protelos/Osseor should be used, the CHMP took into account thePRAC’s analysis of its benefits and risks as well as advice from osteoporosis experts that there is a group of patients who could benefit from the medicine.

‘The PRAC has worked closely with the CHMP throughout the procedure and while we acknowledge that the recommendations of the two committees differed, our understanding of the medicine’s benefit-risk profile is closely aligned and we share a common view of the importance of effective monitoring of cardiovascular risk’, said June Raine, chair of the PRAC. ‘The PRAC will continue to monitor the safety of Protelos /Osseor and the effectiveness of risk minimisation in long term use.’

The CHMP’s recommendation will now be sent to the European Commission, which will then issue a final decision.

 Information to patients

  • Protelos/Osseor will only be prescribed for preventing fractures in post-menopausal women and men with severe osteoporosis who have a high risk of fracture and cannot be treated with other medicines approved for osteoporosis.
  • Before starting treatment, your doctor will assess your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure and continue to check your risk at regular intervals during treatment.
  • You should not take Protelos/Osseor if you have or have had heart or circulatory problems such as stroke, heart attack, or obstruction of the blood flow in the arteries.
  • Your treatment with Protelos/Osseor will be stopped if you develop heart or circulatory problems during treatment.
  • If you have any questions, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

Information to healthcare professionals

Healthcare professionals in the EU Member States will receive a letter informing them of the updated recommendations on the use of Protelos/Osseor. The letter will advise them of the following:

  • Protelos/Osseor should only be used to treat severe osteoporosis in postmenopausal women and men at high risk of fracture, for whom treatment with other medicinal products approved for the treatment of osteoporosis is not possible due to, for example, contraindications or intolerance;
  • Protelos/Osseor must not be used in patients with established, current or past history of ischaemic heart disease, peripheral arterial disease and/or cerebrovascular disease, or those with uncontrolled hypertension;
  • Doctors should continue to base their decision to prescribe Protelos/Osseor on an assessment of the individual patient’s risks. The patient’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease should be evaluated before starting treatment and on a regular basis thereafter, generally every 6 to 12 months;
  • Protelos/Osseor should be stopped if the patient develops ischaemic heart disease, peripheral arterial disease or cerebrovascular disease, or if hypertension is uncontrolled;
  • Doctors should review their patients currently on Protelos/Osseor as necessary.

This final EMA recommendation on the use of Protelos/Osseor was based on an analysis of pooled data from randomised studies in around 7,500 post-menopausal women with osteoporosis. The results showed an increased risk of myocardial infarction with Protelos/Osseor as compared with placebo (1.7% versus 1.1 %), with a relative risk of 1.6 (95% CI, 1.07 to 2.38), and an increased risk of venous thrombotic and embolic events — 1.9% versus 1.3 % with a relative risk of 1.5 (95% CI, 1.04 to 2.19).

Available data do not show evidence of an increased cardiovascular risk in patients without established, current or past history of ischaemic heart disease, peripheral arterial disease or cerebrovascular disease, or in those without uncontrolled hypertension.

Regarding the benefits, the efficacy data showed an effect in preventing fractures, including in patients at high risk of fracture.

More about the medicine

Protelos/Osseor (strontium ranelate) is authorised in the EU to treat severe osteoporosis (a disease that makes bones fragile) in women who have been through the menopause and who are at high risk of fracture (broken bones) to reduce the risk of fractures of the spine and the hip. It is also used to treat severe osteoporosis in men who are at high risk of fracture.

The current recommendations add to EMA recommendations made in April 2013 not to use Protelos/Osseor in patients with known circulatory problems.

More about the procedure

The review of Protelos/Osseor was initiated in May 2013 at the request of European Commission under Article 20 of Regulation (EC) No 726/2004.

The first stage of this review was conducted by the Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC), the committee responsible for the evaluation of safety issues for human medicines, which made a set of recommendations. The PRAC’s recommendations were then sent to the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) responsible for all questions concerning medicines for human use, which adopted the Agency’s final opinion.

Further information on the PRAC recommendation and the background to this review can be found on Agency’s website. The CHMP opinion will now be forwarded to the European Commission, which will issue a final decision in due course.

Review: Dyslipidemia and Disabetes Associated with Fractures


[Bone diseases caused by impaired glucose and lipid metabolism].

The number of patients with lifestyle-related diseases is rapidly increasing in Japan. Metabolic syndrome caused by abdominal fat accumulation induces diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, and hypertension, resulting in an increase in cardiovascular diseases. On the other hand, recent studies have shown that the lifestyle-related diseases are risk factors of osteoporotic fractures. Although it remains still unclear how metabolic disorders affect bone tissue, oxidative stress and/or glycation stress might directly have negative impacts on bone tissue and increase the risk of fractures. In this review, we describe the association of diabetes mellitus and dyslipidemia with the fracture risk through oxidative stress and glycation stress.

Kanazawa I, Sugimoto T
Clin Calcium Nov 2013
PMID: 24162600

Review: Strontium Increases Bone Formation and Reduces Resorption, but may Increase Risk of Venous Thromboembolism


Strontium ranelate: a review of its use in the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis.

This is a review of the pharmacology of strontium ranelate (Protelos, Protos, Protaxos, Bivalos, Osseor), and its efficacy and tolerability in the treatment of patients with postmenopausal osteoporosis. Strontium ranelate is a divalent strontium salt of ranelic acid that is capable of increasing bone formation and reducing bone resorption, thereby uncoupling and rebalancing bone turnover in favour of bone formation. The drug is effective in reducing the risk of fractures, including both vertebral and nonvertebral fractures, in patients with postmenopausal osteoporosis, according to data from two large, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre trials of 5 years’ duration, and reduced the risk of hip fracture in high-risk patients in a post hoc analysis of one trial. Moreover, data from patients who continued to receive the drug during the 3-year extension phases of these trials indicate that strontium ranelate continues to provide protection against new vertebral fractures and nonvertebral fractures for up to 8 years of therapy. It also improves bone mineral density at numerous sites and both increases markers of bone formation and decreases markers of bone resorption. Strontium ranelate is administered orally as a suspension and is generally well tolerated. The nature of adverse events was generally similar regardless of treatment duration in clinical trials, with the most commonly reported being nausea and diarrhoea over 5 years of treatment, and memory loss and diarrhoea during longer-term treatment. Although an increased risk of venous thromboembolism was associated with strontium ranelate relative to placebo over 5 years of treatment in a pooled analysis of clinical trials, postmarketing data have not confirmed this finding. Overall, the clinical data available suggest that strontium ranelate is an effective and generally well tolerated option for the first-line treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Deeks ED, Dhillon S
Drugs Apr 2010
PMID: 20394457

Cataracts are Associated with Osteoporosis


Are cataracts associated with osteoporosis?

Calcium is considered an important factor in the development of both osteoporosis and cataract. This study evaluated the association between osteoporosis and cataracts.
To evaluate the prevalence of osteoporosis among patients undergoing cataract surgery, and the association between the two.
This was a retrospective observational case-control study, conducted in the Central District of Clalit Health Services (a district of the largest health maintenance organization in Israel). All Clalit members in the district older than 50 years who underwent cataract surgery from 2000 to 2007 (n=12,984) and 25,968 age- and sex-matched controls comprised the sample. Electronic medical records of all patients in the study were reviewed. The main outcome measure was the prevalence of osteoporosis and the odds ratio of having osteoporosis among cataract patients compared with controls.
Demographically, 41.8% were men with a mean age of 68.7 ± 8.2 years. A logistic regression model for osteoporosis showed that age, female sex, higher socioeconomic class, smoking, chronic renal failure, hyperthyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases, and cataract are all associated with increased prevalence of osteoporosis. Obesity is a protective factor for osteoporosis. In all age-groups, osteoporosis was more prevalent in cataract patients than in the control group.
Among other well-known risk factors, osteoporosis is associated with the presence of cataracts. Common pathophysiological associations with both conditions, such as calcium imbalance, hormonal abnormalities, and shared genetic predisposition, are discussed.

Nemet AY, Hanhart J, Kaiserman I, Vinker S
Clin Ophthalmol 2013
PMID: 24204110 | Free Full Text

We found a significant association between cataract and osteoporosis among women of all age-groups and in men older than 75 years. Smoking,8 obesity,9 chronic renal failure,10 hyperthyroidism,11 rheumatoid arthritis,12 inflammatory bowel diseases13 are well known to be associated with osteoporosis and have been reported on extensively. Obesity as a protective factor has already been reported.14 To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to show this association. This section focuses on calcium imbalance as a common key event, hormonal abnormalities associated with both conditions, and shared ultrastructural abnormalities found in cataract and osteoporosis.

PGE2 Stimulates Bone Resorption and Formation In Vitro


PGE2 stimulates both resorption and formation of bone in vitro: differential responses of the periosteum and the endosteum in fetal rat long bone cultures.

The ability of PGE2 to stimulate bone resorption in vitro and in vivo is well established but the effects of this compound on bone formation are still controversial. Recent clinical reports have suggested that long-term infusion of PGE in infants with cyanotic heart diseases led to a stimulation of periosteal bone formation and to hyperostosis. In the present report, we describe the effects of PGE2 (10(-5) M) in bone organ cultures on bone resorption, measured by the release of 45Calcium and the number of osteoclasts in sections of cultured bones, and bone volume, by measuring separately medullary and cortical areas. PGE2 induced a marked increase in 45Ca release and in cortical and medullary osteoclast numbers over 4 days in vitro; despite this increase in bone resorption, cortical bone volume remained constant, indicating a parallel increase in bone resorption and formation at this site. Morphological and quantitative data demonstrated a higher extent of osteoblastic surface along the periosteum of PGE2-treated bones when compared with control cultures. Medullary bone volume, on the other hand, decreased sharply during the culture period, demonstrating a lack of parallel increase in bone formation at this site. It is concluded that, under these experimental conditions, prostaglandin E2 stimulated both resorption and formation along the periosteum and only bone resorption along the endosteum of the cultured bones. The overall effect of PGE2 on bone as a whole, however, was net bone loss.

Nefussi JR, Baron R
Anat. Rec. Jan 1985
PMID: 3985383

Glucosamine Reduces Anabolic and Catabolic Processes in Chondrocytes In Vitro


Glucosamine reduces anabolic as well as catabolic processes in bovine chondrocytes cultured in alginate.

To investigate the working mechanism of glucosamine (GlcN) by studying the effect of different GlcN derivatives on bovine chondrocytes in alginate beads under anabolic and catabolic culture conditions.
Bovine chondrocytes seeded in alginate beads were treated with different concentrations of glucosamine-sulfate (GlcN-S), glucosamine-hydrochloride (GlcN-HCl) or N-acetyl-glucosamine (GlcN-Ac). Culture conditions were anabolic, 3 day pre-culture followed by 14 days’ treatment; catabolic, extracellular matrix (ECM) breakdown induced by 10ng/ml interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta); or a situation with balance between ECM breakdown and synthesis, 24 days’ pre-culture followed by 14 days’ treatment. The outcome measurements were total glycosaminoglycan (GAG) and DNA content per bead.
In the situation with balance between ECM breakdown and synthesis, GlcN-Ac had a small stimulatory effect on total GAG content. GlcN-S and GlcN-HCl had no effect. Under anabolic condition 5mM GlcN-S and GlcN-HCl significantly reduced total GAG content. GlcN-Ac did not show this effect. IL-1beta induced catabolic effects were prevented by adding 5mM GlcN-HCl. Interference of GlcN with glucose (Gluc) was demonstrated by adding extra Gluc to the medium in the anabolic culture conditions. Increasing extracellular Gluc concentrations diminished the effect of GlcN.
GlcN-S and GlcN-HCl, but not GlcN-Ac, reduce anabolic and catabolic processes. For anabolic processes this was demonstrated by decreased ECM synthesis, for catabolic processes by protection against IL-1beta mediated ECM breakdown. This might be due to interference of GlcN with Gluc utilization. We suggest that the claimed structure modifying effects of GlcN are more likely based on protection against ECM degradation than new ECM production.

Uitterlinden EJ, Jahr H, Koevoet JL, Bierma-Zeinstra SM…
Osteoarthr. Cartil. Nov 2007
PMID: 17543549