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Current perspectives on bisphosphonate treatment in Paget’s disease of bone

Authors Wat WZM

Received 13 August 2014

Accepted for publication 29 September 2014

Published 20 November 2014 Volume 2014:10 Pages 977—983


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Garry Walsh

Winnie Zee Man Wat

Department of Medicine, Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital, Chai Wan, Hong Kong

Abstract: Paget’s disease of bone is a chronic metabolic bone disease with focal increase in bone turnover. The exact etiology of the disease is uncertain, although genetic and environmental factors are believed to be important. Bisphosphonate is the main class of medication being used to control disease activity via its antiresorptive effect. This review discusses the controversies concerning the use of bisphosphonates in the treatment of Paget’s disease of bone, the efficacy of different bisphosphonates in controlling disease activity, and the possible rare side effects of bisphosphonates. Symptoms are the main indication for treatment in Paget’s disease of bone. As treatment benefits in asymptomatic individuals remain controversial and nonevidence based, the decision to treat these patients should be individualized to their risk and benefit profiles. There are several trials conducted to evaluate and compare the efficacy of different regimes of bisphosphonates for treating Paget’s disease of bone. Most trials used biochemical markers rather than clinical symptoms or outcomes as parameters for comparison. Zoledronate is an attractive option as it can achieve high rates of biochemical remission and sustain long duration of suppression by a single dose. Atypical femoral fracture and osteonecrosis of the jaw are two rare and severe side effects reported, possibly related to the use of bisphosphonates in patients with osteoporosis and malignancy-induced hypercalcemia. As the regimes of bisphosphonates used for treating Paget’s disease of bone are different from those two diseases, the risks of developing these two possible side effects are expected to be very low, although this remains unknown. Vitamin D and calcium supplement should be given to patients at risk of vitamin D insufficiency when given zoledronate, as symptomatic hypocalcemia may develop. For those intolerant of bisphosphonates, subcutaneous calcitonin can be used for a limited period due to its associated risk of malignancy.

osteitis deformans, antiresorptive, alkaline phosphatase

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