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Climacteric. 2019 Oct;22(5):442-447. doi: 10.1080/13697137.2019.1631789. Epub 2019 Jul 11.

Effects of ospemifene on bone in postmenopausal women.

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Department of Gynecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University , Stellenbosch , South Africa.
Shionogi , Florham Park , NJ , USA.
Shionogi Europe , London , UK.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Santa Chiara University Hospital , Pisa , Italy.


Ospemifene is a selective estrogen-receptor modulator approved for treating menopause-related moderate to severe dyspareunia and vaginal dryness, symptoms of vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA), in the United States, and for treating menopause-related, symptomatic VVA in women not appropriate for local estrogen therapy in Europe. This review summarizes the effects of ospemifene on bone, including bone biomarker data from a phase 3 vaginal dryness study. Early-phase studies of postmenopausal women showed that ospemifene dose-dependently decreased bone turnover markers versus placebo, similar to raloxifene. A 12-week, phase 3 study of ospemifene 60 mg/day in postmenopausal women showed improvements in all VVA parameters and significantly greater decreases in seven of nine bone biomarkers versus placebo. Lower bone resorption markers with ospemifene were observed regardless of time since menopause (≤5 years or >5 years) or baseline bone mineral density (BMD) (normal [n = 18], osteopenia [n = 164], or osteoporosis [n = 21]). Biomarker studies (n = 565 who took ospemifene) therefore support a potential role for ospemifene in maintaining bone health (and possibly reducing fracture risk) in postmenopausal women taking it for VVA; however, caution is warranted because data are limited to biochemical markers, rather than fracture and BMD. Although studies show that bone turnover predicts BMD and fractures, any hypothesis about a bone-sparing effect of ospemifene needs testing in rigorous, long-term, phase 3 studies monitoring fractures and BMD.


Bone resorption; menopause; ospemifene; osteoporosis; selective estrogen receptor modulators

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