Category Archives: Bisphosphonates

Bisphosphonates Reduce Mortality in Women


Osteoporosis medication and reduced mortality risk in elderly women and men.

Osteoporotic fractures are associated with premature mortality. Antiresorptive treatment reduces refracture but mortality reduction is unclear.
The objective of the study was to examine the effect of osteoporosis treatment [bisphosphonates (BP), hormone therapy (HT), and calcium ± vitamin D only (CaD)] on mortality risk.
This was a prospective cohort study (April 1989 to May 2007).
The study was conducted with community-dwelling elderly (aged 60+ yr) subjects in Dubbo, a semiurban city, Australia.
Subjects included 1223 and 819 women and men in the Dubbo Osteoporosis Epidemiology Study.
Mortality according to treatment group was recorded.
There were 325 (BP, n = 106; HT, n = 77; CaD, n = 142) women and 37 men (BP, n = 15; CaD, n = 22) on treatment. In women, mortality rates were lower with BP 0.8/100 person-years (0.4, 1.4) and HT 1.2/100 person-years (0.7, 2.1) but not CaD 3.2/100 person-years (2.5, 4.1) vs. no treatment 3.5/100 person-years (3.1, 3.8). Accounting for age, fracture occurrence, comorbidities, quadriceps strength, and bone mineral density, mortality risk remained lower for women on BP [hazard ratio (HR) 0.3 (0.2, 0.6)] but not HT [HR 0.8 (0.4, 1.8)]. For 429 women with fractures, mortality risk was still reduced in the BP group [adjusted HR 0.3 (0.2, 0.7)], not accounted for by a reduction in subsequent fractures. In men, lower mortality rates were observed with BP but not CaD [BP 1.0/100 person-years (0.3, 3.9) and CaD 3.1/100 person-years (1.5, 6.6) vs. no treatment 4.3/100 person-years (3.9, 4.8)]. After adjustment, mortality was similar, although not significant [HR 0.5 (0.1, 2.0)].
Osteoporosis therapy appears to reduce mortality risk in women and possibly men.

Center JR, Bliuc D, Nguyen ND, Nguyen TV…
J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. Apr 2011
PMID: 21289270

Low-Dose Alendronate Effect is Similar to Standard-Dose in Chinese Women with Bone Loss


Effect of low-dose alendronate treatment on bone mineral density and bone turnover markers in Chinese postmenopausal women with osteopenia and osteoporosis.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of low-dose alendronate (ALN) treatment on bone mineral density (BMD) and bone turnover markers in Chinese postmenopausal women with osteopenia and osteoporosis.
This study was a large-sample, randomized, open-label, prospective, multicenter, clinical trial with a 12-month follow-up. A total of 639 postmenopausal women (aged 62.2 ± 7.0 y) with osteopenia or osteoporosis were randomized into two groups: low-dose ALN (70 mg every two weeks) and standard-dose ALN (70 mg weekly). All patients were also supplemented with calcium (600 mg) and vitamin D3 (125 IU) daily. BMD (measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry; Hologic and Lunar) and levels of serum bone turnover markers (bone resorption marker, carboxy-telopeptide of type I collagen; bone formation marker, alkaline phosphatase) were assessed at baseline and at 3, 6, and 12 months of treatment. BMD and bone turnover markers were compared between the baseline and the end of treatment, and the changes in BMD and bone turnover markers were also compared between the low-dose ALN group and the standard-dose ALN group.
No significant differences in age, years since menopause, body mass index, BMD, 25-hydroxy vitamin D level, and serum biochemical markers were found at baseline between the two dose groups. A total of 558 (87.3%) and 540 (84.5%) women completed the treatment at the 6th and 12th months, respectively. After the 12-month treatment, lumbar spine and hip BMD increased and serum bone turnover markers decreased significantly in both of the treatment groups (P < 0.01), and no differences in percentage changes in BMD at the lumbar spine, femoral neck, and hip were found between the low-dose group (5.60%, 3.87%, and 3.28%, respectively) and the standard-dose group (5.07%, 2.93%, and 3.80%, respectively; P > 0.05). However, levels of serum alkaline phosphatase and carboxy-telopeptide of type I collagen in the standard-dose group decreased moderately compared with those in the low-dose group (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01). The women tolerated the two doses of ALN quite well. Adverse effects were similar in the two groups.
Treatment with low-dose ALN (70 mg every two weeks) in women with postmenopausal osteopenia or osteoporosis effectively increases lumbar spine and hip BMD, similar to treatment with standard-dose ALN. Low-dose ALN may be a cost-effective and safe protocol for treating osteopenia or osteoporosis in Chinese women.

Li M, Zhang ZL, Liao EY, Chen DC…
Menopause Jan 2013
PMID: 22968256

Review: New Treatments


New developments in the treatment of osteoporosis.

The last 25 years have seen the development of a plethora of new, effective agents for the treatment of osteoporosis. These agents reduce the risk of spine fractures by up to 70%, hip fractures by 40-50% and non-vertebral fractures by up to 50-80%. Amino-bisphosphonates, taken orally or intravenously, remain the dominant treatment modalities for osteoporosis. These so-called anti-resorptive or anti-catabolic agents stabilize the skeleton and reduce fracture risk in osteoporotic as well as osteopenic individuals. A monoclonal antibody against receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand, Denosumab, constitutes a new anti-resorptive agent recently approved worldwide. In younger postmenopausal women, low-dose estrogen or estrogen/progestin still has a place for short-term (up to 5 years) preservation of bone mass, especially in women with menopausal symptoms. Likewise, selective estrogen receptor modulators should be considered in younger postmenopausal women, especially those at increased risk of breast cancer. Anabolic (bone forming) regimens, of which parathyroid hormone is the only agent currently available, aid in the build up of new bone, increase bone mass and improve bone architecture. In cancellous bone, 30-60% increases of bone mass have been documented, but cortical bone thickness also increases. These improvements lead to profound reduction in fracture rates in both the axial and appendicular skeleton. Owing to cost and the need for parenteral administration, in most countries these agents are reserved for severe osteoporosis with multiple fractures.

Eriksen EF, Halse J, Moen MH
Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand Jun 2013
PMID: 22646526

Bisphosphonates Showed the Smallest Increase In Fracture Rate Over 10 Years


Ten-year fracture risk in the assessment of osteoporosis management efficacy in postmenopausal women: a pilot study.

The aim of the reported longitudinal, retrospective pilot study was to establish changes in 10-year fracture risk in postmenopausal women with respect to applied fracture management.
A group of 191 postmenopausal women with a mean age of 68.76± 6.72 years was divided into subgroups. The subgroups were made up of untreated patients (n = 41), patients treated with vitamin D plus calcium (n = 46), and patients treated with bisphosphonates, vitamin D and calcium (n = 104). Repeated densitometric measurements and clinical data were taken into consideration (both baseline and follow-up). Ten-year fracture risk was established, using FRAX(TM) and Garvan nomograms. The mean follow-up period was 2.01±1.87 years.
Generally, the mean fracture probability increased in the studied women over the observation period. Patients on bisphosphonate therapy demonstrated the smallest increase in fracture probability. The probability rate for either any fractures or hip fractures decreased when the T-score increased. A diminished number of falls non-significantly decreased the probability for hip fractures and any fractures.
Ten-year fracture risk increased irrespective of applied management, while a decreased risk was observed only in women with improved bone status.

Pluskiewicz W, Drozdzowska B, Adamczyk P
Climacteric Feb 2013
PMID: 22335356

Vitamin K2 (MK-4) Suppresses RANKL Alone or With Bisphosphonates


Osteoclast inhibitory effects of vitamin K2 alone or in combination with etidronate or risedronate in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: 2-year results.

To investigate the effects of vitamin K2 (Vit K2) alone or in combination with etidronate and risedronate on bone loss, osteoclast induction, and inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Subjects comprised 79 patients with RA who were receiving prednisolone, divided into 3 groups: Group K, Vit K2 alone; Group KE, Vit K2 plus etidronate; and Group KR, Vit K2 plus risedronate. During a 24-month treatment and followup period, levels of N-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (NTx) and bone alkaline phosphatase were measured. Bone mineral density (BMD) of the 3 groups was measured using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Damage score to fingers on radiographic findings were measured according to the Larsen method. Serum levels of receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappaB ligand (RANKL) and osteoprotegerin (OPG) were measured.
Falls in rate of change of BMD decreased after 18 months in groups KR and KE. Larsen damage scores indicated a significant difference between Group KE and other groups. Significant decreases in serum NTx were observed in groups KE and KR at all timepoints, but not in Group K. Levels of RANKL decreased significantly in all 3 groups.
Vit K2 alone or in combination with bisphosphonates for treatment of osteoporosis in patients with RA may inhibit osteoclast induction via decreases in levels of RANKL.

Morishita M, Nagashima M, Wauke K, Takahashi H…
J. Rheumatol. Mar 2008
PMID: 18260178

Teriparatide Increases Bone Strength More Than Density


Femoral strength in osteoporotic women treated with teriparatide or alendronate.

To gain insight into the clinical effect of teriparatide and alendronate on the hip, we performed non-linear finite element analysis of quantitative computed tomography (QCT) scans from 48 women who had participated in a randomized, double-blind clinical trial comparing the effects of 18-month treatment of teriparatide 20 μg/d or alendronate 10mg/d. The QCT scans, obtained at baseline, 6, and 18 months, were analyzed for volumetric bone mineral density (BMD) of trabecular bone, the peripheral bone (defined as all the cortical bone plus any endosteal trabecular bone within 3 mm of the periosteal surface), and the integral bone (both trabecular and peripheral), and for overall femoral strength in response to a simulated sideways fall. At 18 months, we found in the women treated with teriparatide that trabecular volumetric BMD increased versus baseline (+4.6%, p<0.001), peripheral volumetric BMD decreased (-1.1%, p<0.05), integral volumetric BMD (+1.0%, p=0.38) and femoral strength (+5.4%, p=0.06) did not change significantly, but the ratio of strength to integral volumetric BMD ratio increased (+4.0%, p=0.04). An increase in the ratio of strength to integral volumetric BMD indicates that overall femoral strength, compared to baseline, increased more than did integral density. For the women treated with alendronate, there were small (<1.0%) but non-significant changes compared to baseline in all these parameters. The only significant between-treatment difference was in the change in trabecular volumetric BMD (p<0.005); related, we also found that, for a given change in peripheral volumetric BMD, femoral strength increased more for teriparatide than for alendronate (p=0.02). We conclude that, despite different compartmental volumetric BMD responses for these two treatments, we could not detect any overall difference in change in femoral strength between the two treatments, although femoral strength increased more than integral volumetric BMD after treatment with teriparatide.

Keaveny TM, McClung MR, Wan X, Kopperdahl DL…
Bone Jan 2012
PMID: 22015818

Eldecalcitol > Alfacalcidol in Ovariectomized Rats


Effects of combined treatment with eldecalcitol and alendronate on bone mass, mechanical properties, and bone histomorphometry in ovariectomized rats: a comparison with alfacalcidol and alendronate.

Eldecalcitol (ELD), a 2β-hydroxypropyloxy derivative of 1α,25 (OH) 2D3, inhibits bone resorption more potently than alfacalcidol (ALF) while maintaining osteoblastic function in an ovariectomized (OVX) osteoporosis rat model. Alendronate (ALN), which is the most common bisphosphonate used for the treatment of osteoporosis, increases the bone mineral density (BMD) by suppressing bone resorption. In this study, we investigated the effects of combination treatments with ELD and ALN or with ALF and ALN on bone mass and strength in OVX rats. Seventy female rats, 32 weeks old, were assigned to seven groups: (1) a sham-operated control group; (2) an OVX-control group; (3) an ELD group; (4) an ALF group; (5) an ALN group; (6) an ELD+ALN group; and (7) an ALF+ALN group. OVX rats were orally treated with ELD (0.015 μg/kg), ALF (0.0375 μg/kg), or ALN (0.2mg/kg) daily for 12 weeks. In both the lumbar spine and the femur, ELD and ALF monotherapy significantly increased the BMD, and ELD+ALN and ALF+ALN significantly increased the BMD, compared with ALN monotherapy, as an additive effect. In particular, ELD+ALN resulted in a significantly higher BMD than ALF+ALN in the femur. On mechanical testing of the lumbar spine, ELD and ALF monotherapy significantly increased the ultimate load, and ELD+ALN and ALF+ALN significantly increased the ultimate load compared with ALN monotherapy. In the femur, ELD, ELD+ALN, and ALF+ALN treatment significantly increased the ultimate load, compared with the OVX-control group, and ELD+ALN resulted in a significantly higher ultimate load than ALN monotherapy. A histomorphometric analysis showed that ELD monotherapy and ELD+ALN combination therapy had a potent inhibitory effect on bone resorption parameters (osteoclast surface and eroded surface), while maintaining bone formation parameters (osteoblast surface and osteoid surface). By contrast, ALF and ALF+ALN significantly lowered the histological parameters of both bone resorption and formation. These results suggested that ELD or ALF used in combination with ALN has therapeutic advantages over ALN monotherapy, with ELD+ALN combination treatment producing an especially beneficial anti-osteoporotic effect by inhibiting osteoclastic bone resorption and maintaining osteoblastic function, compared with ALF+ALN combination treatment.

Sugimoto M, Futaki N, Harada M, Kaku S
Bone Jan 2013
PMID: 23041510

Bisphosphonates Help Bone Mass But Not Strength, Elastic Modulus, or Toughness in Rats


Higher doses of bisphosphonates further improve bone mass, architecture, and strength but not the tissue material properties in aged rats.

We report the results of a series of experiments designed to determine the effects of ibandronate (Ibn) and risedronate (Ris) on a number of bone quality parameters in aged osteopenic rats to explain how bone material and bone mass may be affected by the dose of bisphosphonates (BP) and contribute to their anti-fracture efficacy. Eighteen-month old female rats underwent either ovariectomy or sham surgery. The ovariectomized (OVX) groups were left untreated for 2 months to develop osteopenia. Treatments started at 20 months of age as follows: sham and OVX control (treated with saline), OVX + risedronate 30 and 90 (30 or 90 microg/kg/dose), and OVX + ibandronate 30 and 90 (30 or 90 microg/kg/dose). The treatments were given monthly for 4 months by subcutaneous injection. At sacrifice at 24 months of age the 4th lumbar vertebra was used for microCT scans (bone mass, architecture, and degree of mineralization of bone, DMB) and histomorphometry, and the 6th lumbar vertebra, tibia, and femur were collected for biomechanical testing to determine bone structural and material strength, cortical fracture toughness, and tissue elastic modulus. The compression testing of the vertebral bodies (LVB6) was simulated using finite-element analysis (FEA) to also estimate the bone structural stiffness. Both Ibn and Ris dose-dependently increased bone mass and improved vertebral bone microarchitecture and mechanical properties compared to OVX control. Estimates of vertebral maximum stress from FEA were correlated with vertebral maximum load (r=0.5, p<0.001) and maximum stress (r=0.4, p<0.005) measured experimentally. Tibial bone bending modulus and cortical strength increased compared to OVX with both BP but no dose-dependent effect was observed. DMB and elastic modulus of trabecular bone were improved with Ibn 30 compared to OVX but were not affected in other BP-treated groups. DMB of tibial cortical bone showed no change with BP treatments. The fracture toughness examined in midshaft femurs did not change with BP even with the higher doses. In summary, the anti-fracture efficacy of BP is largely due to their preservation of bone mass and while the higher doses further improve the bone structural properties do not improve the localized bone material characteristics such as tissue strength, elastic modulus, and cortical toughness.

Shahnazari M, Yao W, Dai W, Wang B…
Bone May 2010
PMID: 19931661

Bisphosphonates and Osteonecrosis Laser Treatment


Bisphosphonates and osteonecrosis: an open matter.

Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ) in patients on long-term Bisphosphonate Therapy (BPT) is being reported in the last ten years in the literature with increasing frequency. The therapy for this condition is a real dilemma. Temporary suspension of BPT offers no short term benefits, hyperbaric oxygen has no proven efficiency and therefore is not recommended, intermittent or continuous antibiotic with surgical debridement can be beneficial to palliate the symptoms. Er:YAG laser can be used to eliminate necrotic portions of the bone by partial or total resection of the jaws as an alternative to conventional rotary tools. The high degree of affinity of this wavelength for water and hydroxyapatite means the soft tissue and bone can both be treated. The technique can also be used for conservative interventions by gradually evaporating the part of necrotic bone, getting close to the healthy area. One certain advantage of the Er:YAG laser is its bactericidal and biostimulatory action, inducing the healing of the soft tissues and the bone, quicker than in conventional treatments. In conclusion, from our experience, it is possible to observe that an early conservative surgical approach with Er:YAG laser associated to biostimulation, LLLT (Low Level Laser Therapy), for BRONJ could be considered as more efficacious in comparison to medical therapy or other techniques.

Vescovi P
Clin Cases Miner Bone Metab Sep 2012
PMID: 23289026 | Free Full Text

Risedronate, Atorvastatin, Estrogen, Raloxifene, and Clomiphene Compared in Ovariectomized Rats


Comparative effects of risedronate, atorvastatin, estrogen and SERMs on bone mass and strength in ovariectomized rats.

The aim of this study was to investigate bone protective effects of risedronate, atorvastatin, raloxifene and clomiphene citrate in ovariectomized rats.
Our study was conducted on 63 rats at Experimental Research Center of Celal Bayar University. Six-month-old rats were divided into seven groups. There were five drug administered ovariectomized groups, one ovariectomized control group without drug administration and one non-ovariectomized control group without drug administration. Eight weeks postovariectomy, rats were treated with the bisphosphonate risedronate sodium, the statin atorvastatin, the estrogen 17beta-estradiol and the selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) raloxifene hydrochloride and clomiphene citrate by gavage daily for 8 weeks. At the end of the study, rats were killed under anesthesia. For densitometric evaluation, left femurs and tibiae were removed. Left femurs were also used to measure bone volume. Right femurs were used for three-point bending test.
Compared to ovariectomized group, femur cortex volume increased significantly in non-ovariectomized group (p=0.016). Compared to non-ovariectomized group, distal femoral metaphyseal and femur midshaft bone mineral density values were significantly lower in ovariectomized group (p=0.047). In ovariectomy+atorvastatin group, whole femur and femur midshaft bone mineral density and three-point bending test maximal load values were significantly higher than ovariectomized group (p=0.049, 0.05, and 0.018). When compared to the ovariectomized group, no significant difference was found with respect to femoral maximum load values in groups treated with risedronate, estrogen, raloxifene and clomiphene (p=0.602, 0.602, 0.75, and 0.927). In ovariectomy+risedronate group, femur midshaft bone mineral density values were significantly higher than the values in ovariectomized group (p=0.023). When compared to ovariectomized group, no significant difference was found with respect to femur midshaft bone mineral density values in groups treated with estrogen, raloxifene and clomiphene (p=0.306, 0.808, and 0.095).

While risedronate sodium prevented the decrease in bone mineral density in ovariectomized rats, atorvastatin maintained mechanical characteristics of bone and also prevented the decrease in bone mineral density as risedronate sodium.

Uyar Y, Baytur Y, Inceboz U, Demir BC…
Maturitas Jul 2009
PMID: 19386450