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Clin Ther. 2006 Feb;28(2):151-73.

Update of current therapeutic options for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis.

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  • 1Doylestown Hospital, Doylestown, Pennsylvania 18901, USA. bonedocsol@aol.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Osteoporosis is a common chronic condition in elderly women and is associated with decreased bone strength and an increased risk for fractures. As the incidence of osteoporotic fractures continues to rise, it is important to identify the most effective therapies for reducing patients' risk of fracture.

OBJECTIVE:

This article reviews the medication classes commonly used for treating osteoporosis and the efficacy, tolerability, and drug-interaction potential of specific medications. The evidence for the use of combination therapies is summarized, as are the agents under investigation.

METHODS:

Relevant articles were identified through a search of MEDLINE (August 1985-August 2005) using the terms osteoporosis, postmenopausal, fracture, and efficacy combined with drug therapy, calcium, vitamin D, estrogen, progesterone, selective estrogen modulators, calcitonin, strontium ranelate, bisphosphonates, alendronate, risedronate, ibandronate, pamidronate, parathyroid hormone, combination therapy, and zoledronic acid. The identified articles were reviewed for suitability, with priority given to meta-analyses.

RESULTS:

Among the therapeutic options for the treatment of osteoporosis, the bisphosphonates appear to provide the greatest antiresorptive efficacy, with some bisphosphonates providing 7% to 8% increases in bone mineral density and 60% to 70% decreases in markers of bone resorption. Bisphosphonates also may reduce the incidence of new vertebral fractures by 50% to 52%.

CONCLUSIONS:

Bisphosphonates are currently the first choice for the treatment of osteoporosis. Use of intermittent regimens of the newer bisphosphonates appears to be a promising alternative to administration of daily or weekly treatment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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