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This summary of a Cochrane review presents what we know from research about the effect of alendronate for preventing fractures (broken bones) caused by osteoporosis.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: January 23, 2008

Background: The Norwegian guidelines for prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and osteoporosis-related fractures recommend treatment with bisphosphonates for women with T-score less than -1.6 and previous fractures and also for women with T-score less than or equal to -2.5 without previous fracture. Only women with T-score equal to or less than -2.5 who have previous fractures will have their drug expenses reimbursed.

Knowledge Centre for the Health Services at The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH).

Version: August 2011

Bibliographic details: Zhu RX, Ouyang LL, Wu TX.  Alendronate for the prevention and treatment of men osteoporosis: a systematic review. Chinese Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine 2006; 6(3): 195-201

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet] - Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK).

Version: 2006

Osteoporosis is a common disease in the elderly, with an estimated 2.1 million female sufferers in England and Wales. It is defined as possessing a T-score of -2.5 standard deviations or lower. The main consequence of osteoporosis is an increased incidence of fractures, notably at the hip, spine, wrist and proximal humerus, which increases as a woman ages. These result not only in morbidity for the patient, with a risk of mortality following fractures of the hip, and possibly of the vertebra, but also in the consumption of scarce health resources. A recent estimate of the cost in the UK of osteoporotic fractures in females has put this figure at £2100 million. A woman who has suffered a fracture is defined as suffering from severe osteoporosis.

NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme: Executive Summaries - NIHR Journals Library.

Version: 2005

OBJECTIVE: To study the efficacy of alendronate to prevent hip fracture risk of postmenopausal women.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet] - Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK).

Version: 2009

Pain is commonly experienced in children and young people with diseases that are not curable and which may shorten their lives. These may be cancers or other diseases. Sometimes the pain is under‐treated, particularly for those nearing the end of their lives. There are many different types of drugs that have been developed to treat pain. There are also drugs that were not developed primarily to treat pain but which have an action that may provide pain relief. However, clinical guidelines to support doctors in their choice of treatment for pain are limited. This is because there are few trials specifically in children and young people that have tested the benefits and safety of such drugs.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: March 13, 2015

Falls are commonly seen in people who have had a stroke and occur in 7% of people in the first week after their stroke. In the later phase after stroke, 55% to 73% of people experience a fall one year after their stroke. Not all falls are serious enough to require medical attention but even non‐serious falls may lead to people developing a fear of falling. They are a factor for predicting future falls, which may restrict the person's activities of daily living and therefore require attention. This review investigated which methods are effective for preventing falls in people after their stroke. After searching the literature, we included 10 studies with a total of 1004 participants. We found studies that investigated exercises, medication, and the provision of single lens distance vision glasses instead of multifocal glasses for preventing falls. Exercises did not appear to reduce the rate of falls or the number of people falling. The majority of studies asked participants to do exercises only. One study offered exercises together with additional components such as educational sessions about falls. Another study offered exercises together with a comprehensive risk assessment and subsequent referrals, such as a review by an optometrist or new shoes, leading to a personalised programme for preventing falls. Neither of these two studies reduced the rate of falls or the number of people falling. One study, which gave vitamin D to women after their stroke who had low vitamin D levels and were admitted to long‐term care, showed a reduction in the rate of falls and the number of people falling. In another study, alendronate led to a reduction in the rate of falls and the number of people falling in people hospitalised after their stroke. More studies of this kind should be done to confirm these findings before the results are implemented into clinical practice. There is no evidence at the moment that single lens distance vision glasses instead of multifocal glasses reduce the rate of falls or the number of people falling. In summary, there is little evidence that interventions for preventing falls in people after stroke are beneficial. The main reason is that there were only a limited number of studies focusing on people after stroke or that included a stroke subgroup in the study. More research in this important area for people after stroke is therefore warranted.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: May 31, 2013

Bisphosphonates, such as etidronate, alendronate, ibandronate, are commonly used drugs for treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis. This review looked at the effect of bisphosphonates for osteoporosis in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis. Six randomised trials, with 200 participants included, provided information for the review. These trials compared etidronate or alendronate with placebo or no intervention; etidronate or alendronate with alendronate or ibandronate; and etidronate with sodium fluoride.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: December 7, 2011

The aim of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of two bisphosphonates (alendronate and zoledronate) in the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis. The incidence of fractures was considered as primary endpoint. Only randomized trials with a follow-up period of 1 year or more were included in this systematic review and meta-analysis. We excluded studies that included patients with secondary osteoporosis especially in relation to therapy with corticosteroids or other drugs or diseases known to affect bone mineral density. Studies published as subgroup analysis, extension studies, economic evaluations, and comparisons with active control were excluded. The methodological quality of controlled clinical trials that met these inclusion criteria was evaluated. No studies were excluded from analysis due to lack of quality. The risk ratio of hip, vertebral and wrist fractures for alendronate were 0.61 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.40-0.93], 0.54 (95% CI 0.44-0.66) and 0.65 (95% CI 0.33-1.25), respectively. Zoledronate risk ratio was 0.62 (95% CI 0.46-0.82) and 0.38 (95% CI 0.22-0.67) for hip and vertebral fractures, respectively.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet] - Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK).

Version: 2013

Osteoporosis is caused by bone loss, and people who have the condition are at higher risk of having a fracture. Measuring a person's bone mass density (BMD) is a way to measure his or her risk of having a fracture due to fragile bones. Decreased BMD is much more common in HIV patients than in the general population. The cause of this decrease is not certain, but it may be because of the HIV infection itself or because of the antiretroviral medications that patients with HIV take. Although patients with HIV often get fractures because of their sometimes more fragile bones, it has been shown that this bone loss is often not effectively treated in this population. This review examines the randomised controlled trials investigating treatments for bone loss in patients with HIV infection.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: April 18, 2007

The aim of this study was to perform a head-to-head comparison of efficacy and safety profile between 60 mg denosumab (Den) subcutaneously (SC) per 6 months (Q6M) and 70 mg alendronate (Aln) orally per week (QW) for postmenopausal women with low bone mineral density. We searched electronic databases comparing efficacy and safety of Den SC Q6M and Aln QW in postmenopausal women. The primary outcomes of efficacy evaluation in included trials were incidence of clinical fracture in both groups and bone mineral density (BMD) at different skeletal sites. And adverse events (AEs), including incidence of neoplasms and infections, were considered as secondary outcomes. Following the instructions of 'Cochrane Handbook for systematic Reviews of Interventions 5.0.2', we identified eligible studies, evaluated the methodological quality and abstracted relevant data. Four heterogeneous randomised controlled trials (RCTs) involving 1942 women were identified. The results of review showed low evidence quality that supported the hypothesis the denosumab vs. alendronate could reduce risk of fracture [OR (95% CI) 1.42 (0.84 to 2.40), 11 more women per 1000 (from 4 fewer to 36 more), p = 0.19] but the moderate to high quality evidence suggesting treatment with 60 mg Den SC Q6M was more effective for postmenopausal women in increasing BMD [at distal radius (DR), total hip (TH), lumbar spine (LS), and femoral neck (FN)]. Hazards of neoplasms [OR (95% CI) 1.10 (0.65 to 1.86), 3 more per 1000 (from 10 fewer to 24 more), p = 0.62] or infections [OR (95% CI) 0.95 (0.79 to 1.15), 12 fewer per 1000 (from 53 fewer to 33 more,), p = 0.62] were appeared to be similar.Our review suggested within 1 year 60 mg Den SC Q6M treatment was more effective in increasing bone mass but could not reduce the fracture risk to a greater extent than 70 mg Aln QW therapy. Also the Den SC Q6M therapy did not increase the risks of neoplasms and infections compared with Aln QW.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet] - Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK).

Version: 2012

OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficiency and safety of alendronate for the prevention and treatment of glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis (GIOP).

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet] - Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK).

Version: 2013

We reviewed the evidence on the effects and safety of different treatments of osteoporosis in people with beta‐thalassaemia.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: March 10, 2016

Osteonecrosis or avascular osteonecrosis (AVN) of the femoral head is a devastating multifactorial disease that affects 20 000 persons each year in the United States. The purpose of this systematic review was to determine the efficacy and safety of alendronate for adult AVN during short- and long-term follow-up. Electronic databases were searched for randomized or nonrandomized clinical trials, cohort, case-control studies, and series of cases in which alendronate was used for treatment of adult AVN of the femoral head. Relevant articles with adequate data on reduction of pain, improvement of articular function, slowing of bone collapse progression, or need for total hip arthroplasty (THA) were included after applying inclusion and exclusion criteria. Eight articles involving 788 hips with evidence level 1b to 3b were included in this systematic review. Most studies suggested a positive short-term efficacy of alendronate treatment in reducing pain, improving articular function, slowing of bone collapse progression, and delaying the need for THA for adult AVN patients. The favorable long-term results were also presented in those treated patients after 10-year follow-up. In addition, there were no severe adverse effects associated with alendronate treatment observed during short- and long-term follow-up, and most of the included studies suggested use of alendronate in early AVN with small necrotic lesion to achieve better outcomes. The findings support consideration of alendronate use for adult AVN, particularly with early stage and small necrotic size. The lack of large-scale, randomized, and double-blind studies justifies new studies to demonstrate the detailed indication and the optimized strategy of alendronate treatment. Level of evidence: Level 3a.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet] - Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK).

Version: 2014

BACKGROUND: Alendronate has been found to reduce the risk of fractures in postmenopausal women as demonstrated in multiple randomized controlled trials enrolling thousands of women. Yet there is a paucity of such randomized controlled trials in osteoporotic men. Our objective was to systematically review the anti-fracture efficacy of alendronate in men with low bone mass or with a history of prevalent fracture(s) and incorporate prior knowledge of alendronate efficacy in women in the analysis.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet] - Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK).

Version: 2005

OBJECTIVES: To establish the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of selective oestrogen receptor modulators, bisphosphonates and parathyroid hormone (subject to licensing) for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and the prevention of osteoporotic fractures in postmenopausal women.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet] - Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK).

Version: 2005

Purpose. The aim of this study was to directly compare the efficacy and the safety of the two agents for postmenopausal women. Methods/Principal Findings. Electronic databases were searched for relevant articles that met our predefined inclusion criteria. Seven randomized controlled trials (RCTs) involving 4054 women were identified and included. Although Aln was more effective than Rlx in increasing bone mineral density (BMD), no statistical differences were observed in reducing the risk of neither vertebral fractures (P = 0.45) nor nonvertebral fractures (P = 0.87) up to two-year followup. Aln reduced the risk of vasomotor (P = 0.006) but increased the risk of diarrhea compared to Rlx (P = 0.01). Our subgroup analysis further indicated the difference between Aln and Rlx in fracture risk and was not materially altered by the administration pattern, the age. The weekly strategy of Aln would further reduce the upper gastrointestinal (GI) disorders and might gain more bone mass increment at lumbar spine compared to its daily treatment. Conclusion. There was no evidence of difference of fracture risk reduction between Aln and Rlx. In addition, age did not obviously influence their relative antifracture efficacy. For Aln the weekly strategy would further reduce the upper GI disorders and gain more bone mass increment compared to the daily treatment. During clinical decision making, the patients' adherence and the related side-effects associated with both drugs should also be taken into account.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet] - Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK).

Version: 2014

The review concluded that alendronate was associated with development of oral ulcers as healing occurred when the drug was either withdrawn or administered correctly. Due to very limited evidence and substantial risk of bias in the review process, the authors' conclusions cannot be considered reliable.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet] - Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK).

Version: 2012

This review assessed alendronate for preventing hip fractures in postmenopausal women. The authors concluded that alendronate was associated with reductions in hip fracture rates in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis. The evidence presented in the review appears to support the authors' conclusions, but poor reporting of the review methods means that the reliability of the conclusions is unclear.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet] - Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK).

Version: 2005

Acute Charcot neuroarthropathy is a devastating condition and, its incidence is increasing. Currently, treatment consists of immobilisation and off-loading of the involved extremity. Outcomes are frequently poor and novel treatments are being sought urgently. This review aims to outline advances in the pharmacological treatment of this, condition. PubMed and the Cochrane Database of systematic reviews were searched. Relevant papers were cross referenced. Eleven original studies were identified. The limited data available suggest pamidronate, alendronate and calcitonin provide some clinical and biochemical improvements while zoledronic acid is deleterious and, increases off-loading times. However, the data is not robust enough to convincingly demonstrate clinically meaningful effects. The studies were predominantly low quality and heterogeneous. They differed markedly in study type, pharmacological agent used, dosing regimen, disease, aetiology/stage/location, concurrent off-loading regimen, outcomes and, follow-up. Few were rigorous in controlling for associated confounding variables and none investigated long term outcomes. The routine use of pharmacological treatment modalities for this condition is not recommended in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration or in the United Kingdom by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Given the evidence available this is justified and further higher quality research is required.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet] - Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK).

Version: 2013

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