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Intravenous zoledronic acid for the treatment of osteoporosis: The evidence of its therapeutic effect

Authors Lewiecki EM

Published 18 June 2009 Volume 2009:4 Pages 13—23


E Michael Lewiecki

New Mexico Clinical Research and Osteoporosis Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

Introduction: Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mineral density and poor bone quality resulting in reduced bone strength and increased risk of fracture. Oral bisphosphonates, first-line therapy for most patients with osteoporosis, are associated with suboptimal adherence to therapy due to factors that include a complex dosing regimen and gastrointestinal intolerance in some patients. Intravenous bisphosphonates address these limitations through infrequent injectable dosing that assures 100% bioavailability. Intravenous zoledronic acid is the newest bisphosphonate to be approved for the treatment of osteoporosis.

Aims: This review assesses the evidence for the therapeutic effects of intravenous zoledronic acid for the treatment of osteoporosis.

Evidence review: Zoledronic acid 5 mg administered as an annual 15-min intravenous infusion has been shown to reduce the risk of vertebral fractures, hip fractures, and other fractures in a three-year randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in women and men with a recent surgical repair of low-trauma hip fracture, it reduced the risk of new clinical fractures and improved survival. In both studies, zoledronic acid was associated with a good safety profile and was generally well tolerated. Zoledronic acid has the potential to improve clinical outcomes by reducing the risk of fracture in patients with osteoporosis.

Clinical value: Intravenous zoledronic acid 5 mg every 12 months reduces fracture risk in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis and in women and men with recent low-trauma hip fracture.

Keywords: osteoporosis, zoledronic acid, treatment, management, fracture, bisphosphonates

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