Bisphosphonates for osteoporosis prevention and treatment

  • Courtney I. Jarvis
  • Anna K. Morin
  • Ann M. Lynch
Osteoporosis Drug Formulary Prescription Medications


As potent inhibitors of bone resorption, bisphosphonates (BPs) have been used to treat a variety of disorders of calcium and bone metabolism, including osteoporosis. Paget's disease, and metastatic bone disease. Numerous clinical studies have shown BPs to be useful and cost-effective options for the prevention and treatment of fractures and bone loss associated with postmenopausal osteoporosis, senile osteoporosis in men, and glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis. With proper self-administration in patients without underlying gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, oral bisphosphonates are usually safe, however, they can cause upper GI irritation. The most common side effects are nausea, diarrhea, gastritis, and esophageal irritation Newer, longer-acting BPs and parenteral administration have lead to options for patients who cannot tolerate oral BPs.

Key words

Bisphosphonates osteoporosis etidronate clodronate tiludronate alendronate pamidronate risedronate ibandronate zoledronic acid 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Courtney I. Jarvis
    • 1
  • Anna K. Morin
    • 1
  • Ann M. Lynch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacy Practice, School of PharmacyMassachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health SciencesWorcester

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