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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1988 Oct;67(4):701-6.

The effect of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist analog (nafarelin) on bone metabolism.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Chemistry, Glostrup Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


The effect on bone metabolism of an agonist analog of GnRH, nafarelin, was studied in 16 premenopausal women, who received 200 micrograms nafarelin/day for 6 months, and 9 premenopausal women, who received 400 micrograms nafarelin/day for 6 months, followed by a 6-month follow-up period. Bone mineral content in the forearm (measured by single photon absorptiometry) and in the spine (measured by dual photon absorptiometry) significantly decreased after 6 months of treatment with 400 micrograms nafarelin, but 6 months after termination of treatment all bone mineral measurements had returned to pretreatment levels. The bone mineral measurements in the 200 micrograms group did not change throughout the study. In both treatment groups the biochemical estimates of bone turnover increased significantly to postmenopausal levels. Withdrawal of treatment resulted in an abrupt decrease in the bone resorption parameters (fasting urinary hydroxyproline to creatinine and calcium to creatinine excretion ratios and serum phosphate), whereas there was a protracted fall in the bone formation parameters (plasma bone Gla protein and serum alkaline phosphatase) 6 months after termination of treatment. Our findings demonstrate that nafarelin in both doses increased biochemical indices of bone turnover, that 400 micrograms/day nafarelin resulted in a significant decrease in bone mineral content, and that these effects were reversible.

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