Effect of inappropriate and continuous therapy with alendronate for ten years on skeletal integrity — Observations in two elderly patients
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Alendronate is a potent aminobisphosphonate that has been used worldwide to decrease fracture risk in millions of post-menopausal women with and without osteoporosis, men with low bone mass, and in those with glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis. A recent report of 9 patients with spontaneous atypical non-vertebral fractures during treatment with alendronate for up to 8 yr raised questions suggesting the possibility of severe suppression of bone turnover and resultant susceptibility to fracture. Our recent observations in 2 elderly women with inactive monostotic Paget’s disease of bone who had been treated elsewhere continuously for this disease with alendronate for 10 yr at doses overall of 2 and 4 times the osteoporotic dose provided an opportunity to engage in the ongoing controversy over long-term safety of bisphosphonate therapy. Despite such therapy, skeletal integrity was maintained with normal bone densities and the absence of skeletal fractures. These observations do not support the suggestion of deleterious effects with long-term alendronate therapy.
Key-wordsAlendronate osteoporosis fractures Paget’s disease bone turnover
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