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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1993 Jun;76(6):1399-406.

The effect of short term treatment with alendronate on vertebral density and biochemical markers of bone remodeling in early postmenopausal women.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco 94143.


The effects of oral alendronate treatment on spinal bone mineral density and biochemical markers of bone turnover were assessed in women in the early postmenopausal period. Sixty-five women were treated with placebo or 5, 20, or 40 mg alendronate daily for 6 weeks in a double blind study. Treatment with alendronate decreased both urinary markers of bone resorption (pyridinolines, hydroxyproline, and calcium) and serum markers of bone formation (osteocalcin and alkaline phosphatase) in a dose-dependent fashion. This short term treatment with alendronate also produced a dose-dependent increase in lumbar bone mineral density measured 7.5 months after the completion of therapy. Median percent changes in integral spinal bone mineral density, as assessed by dual x-ray absorptiometry, were -2.3, -1.2, +0.7, and +1.2 after treatment with placebo and 5, 20, and 40 mg alendronate, respectively. Treatment with alendronate was well tolerated and produced no fever; gastrointestinal intolerance was no more common than with placebo treatment. Short term alendronate treatment in early postmenopausal women decreased bone turnover and increased vertebral density.

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