Pharmacy World and Science

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 149–153 | Cite as

Effects of Alendronate and Calcitonin on Bone Mineral Density in Postmenopausal Osteoporotic Women. An Observational Study

  • Miroslava HejdovaEmail author
  • Vladimir Palicka
  • Zdenek Kucera
  • Jiri Vlcek


Objective: Alendronate and calcitonin are antiresorptive drugs that were used for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis and were shown to increase bone mineral density (BMD). However, the effect of both drugs in daily clinical practice may differ from that observed in clinical trials.

Method: About 50 postmenopausal osteoporotic women were observed during their first year of treatment. Among them, 32 patients used alendronate and 18 used calcitonin. Lumbar spine and femoral neck BMD were measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) at baseline and after 1 year of therapy. Biochemical markers (B-ALP – bone-specific alkaline phosphatase, OTC – osteocalcin and DPD/UCr – deoxypyridinoline/creatinine ratio) of bone metabolism were measured at baseline and 6 months later. Patient compliance was assumed by tablet counting and verified at interview. Each patient was further questioned about her attitude towards the treatment, as well as her dairy product intake, physical activity, use of other medications, smoking and social status.

Main outcome measure: (1) Annual percent change in BMD in lumbar spine and femoral neck after the one-year treatment with either alendronate or calcitonin. (2) The change in biochemical markers of bone turnover.

Results: The lumbar spine BMD significantly increased by 7.0% (P < 0.001), the femoral neck BMD by 4.3% (P < 0.01). OTC, B-ALP and DPD/UCr decreased significantly during the therapy with alendronate. Compliance with therapy was 79% (95% CI 68–90%). In the calcitonin-treated group, the lumbar spine BMD significantly increased by 3.1 % (P < 0.05), while the femoral neck BMD remained unchanged. OTC, B-ALP and DPD/UCr did not change significantly during the treatment with calcitonin. Compliance with calcitonin therapy was 87% (95% CI 63–110%). The annual change of BMD in both treatment groups was independent on all questioned factors.

Conclusion: In daily practice, alendronate enhanced significantly BMD both in lumbar spine and femoral neck. Calcitonin showed increase only in the lumbar spine BMD.


Alendronate Bone mineral density Calcitonin Czech Republic Observational study Postmenopausal osteoporosis 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miroslava Hejdova
    • 1
    Email author
  • Vladimir Palicka
    • 2
  • Zdenek Kucera
    • 1
  • Jiri Vlcek
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social and Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy in Hradec KraloveCharles University in PragueHradec KraloveCzech Republic
  2. 2.Osteocentre, University HospitalCharles UniversityHradec KraloveCzech Republic

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