Effects of short-term combined treatment with alendronate and elcatonin on bone mineral density and bone turnover in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis
Jun Iwamoto1, Mitsuyoshi Uzawa2, Yoshihiro Sato3, Tsuyoshi Takeda1, Hideo Matsumoto1
1Institute for Integrated Sports Medicine, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan; 2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Keiyu Orthopaedic Hospital, Gunma, Japan; 3Department of Neurology, Mitate Hospital, Fukuoka, Japan
Abstract: The antiresorptive drug elcatonin (ECT) is known to relieve pain in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. A prospective open-labeled trial was conducted to compare the effects of short-term combined treatment with alendronate (ALN) and ECT on bone mineral density (BMD) and bone turnover with those of single treatment with ALN in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. Two hundred and five postmenopausal osteoporotic women (mean age: 70 years) were recruited in our outpatient clinic. Forty-six women with back pain were treated with ALN and ECT (intramuscular, 20 units a week), and 159 women without obvious back pain were treated with ALN alone. The lumbar BMD, urinary levels of cross-linked N-terminal telopeptides of type I collagen (NTX), and serum levels of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) were measured during the six-month treatment period. The baseline characteristics, except for age, body weight and number of patients with prevalent vertebral fractures, were not significantly different between the two groups. The mean increase rate in the lumbar BMD at six months was similar in the ALN (+4.41%) and ALN+ECT (+5.15%) groups, following similar reduction rates in urinary NTX levels (-40.2% and -43.0%, respectively, at three months) and serum ALP levels (-19.0% and -19.7%, respectively, at six months). These results were consistent even after adjustments for age, body weight, and number of patients with prevalent vertebral fractures. The present study in postmenopausal osteoporotic women confirmed that the effects of short-term combined treatment with ALN and ECT on lumbar BMD and bone turnover in patients with back pain appeared to be comparable to those of single treatment with ALN in patients without obvious back pain.
Keywords: alendronate, elcatonin, osteoporosis, postmenopausal women, back pain
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