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Am J Gastroenterol. 1998 May;93(5):753-7.

Effects of alendronate on gastric and duodenal mucosa.

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  • 1Houston Center for Clinical Research, Texas, USA.



This single-center, double-blind, randomized study assessed the effect of alendronate 5 and 10 mg on the gastroduodenal mucosa.


Overall, 95 postmenopausal women without a recent history of major upper gastrointestinal (GI) disease and not taking gastric-irritant drugs, were screened with an upper GI endoscopy. Fourteen women (15% of the total) were found to have baseline endoscopic gastric and/or duodenal abnormalities, including mucosal hemorrhages (n = 4), erosions (n = 11), and ulcers (n = 3). Two additional women had baseline esophageal abnormalities. Thus, 79 postmenopausal women (mean age 51 yr, range 41-64 yr), free of esophageal, gastric and/or duodenal erosions or ulcer, were enrolled. Subjects received placebo, alendronate 5 mg/day or 10 mg/day, or aspirin 650 mg q.i.d. for 14 days. Endoscopy was repeated on Day 8 and on Day 15. Gastric and duodenal mucosae were graded separately using a 5-point scale for erosive mucosal injury.


The proportions of subjects with a gastric or duodenal erosion score > or = 2 (presence of at least one mucosal erosion) on either Day 8 or 15 were four of 22 (18.2%) in the placebo group; four of 22 (18.2%) in the alendronate 5 mg group; five of 21 (23.8%) in the alendronate 10 mg group; and 14 of 14 (100.0%) in the aspirin group. Thirty-five of 76 (46%) subjects were H. pylori-positive (Pyloritek test), and were equally distributed across treatment groups.


Alendronate 5 and 10 mg/day for 2 wk was associated with a lower incidence of gastric erosions than aspirin. The incidence of gastric erosions in the alendronate groups did not differ significantly from the placebo group. In this study, unlike aspirin, alendronate did not induce gastric erosions.

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