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Osteoporos Int. 2012 Jan;23(1):295-303. doi: 10.1007/s00198-011-1547-8. Epub 2011 Jan 28.

The effect of prior bisphosphonate therapy on the subsequent therapeutic effects of strontium ranelate over 2 years.

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Centre for Metabolic Bone Disease, Hull Royal Infirmary, Brocklehurst Building, 220-236 Anlaby Road, Hull HU3 2RW, UK.


Many osteoporotic women prescribed strontium ranelate have previously received bisphosphonates. Prior bisphosphonate use blunted the spinal bone mineral density (BMD) response for 6 months. Hip BMD was blunted to a degree for 2 years, although there was an overall increase in hip BMD in contrast to the heel where BMD did not increase.


Many osteoporotic women commenced on strontium ranelate have already received treatment with bisphosphonates. This study investigates whether prior bisphosphonate use impairs the subsequent therapeutic response to strontium ranelate.


Women were recruited who were either bisphosphonate naïve or currently receiving a bisphosphonate. All women received strontium ranelate and were followed up for 2 years.


One hundred and twenty women were recruited. After 2 years, the bisphosphonate-naïve group had significant BMD increases of 8.9%, 6.0% and 6.4% at the spine, hip and heel, respectively. In the prior bisphosphonate group, BMD increased significantly at the spine (4.0%) and hip (2.5%) but not at the heel. At all time points at all sites, the BMD increase was greater in the bisphosphonate-naïve group. BMD at the spine did not increase during the first 6 months in the prior bisphosphonate group but then increased in parallel with the bisphosphonate-naïve group. In contrast, the difference between the two groups in hip BMD continued to increase throughout the 2 years. P1NP was suppressed in the prior bisphosphonate group for the first 6 months.


After bisphosphonate exposure, the BMD response to strontium ranelate is blunted for only 6 months at the spine. At the hip, a degree of blunting was observed over 2 years, although there was an overall increase in hip BMD in contrast to the heel where no increase in BMD was observed.

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