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Optimizing dosing frequencies for bisphosphonates in the management of postmenopausal osteoporosis: patient considerations

Authors Sunyecz J

Published 5 December 2008 Volume 2008:3(4) Pages 611—627


John Sunyecz

MenopauseRx, Inc., Hopwood, PA, USA

Abstract: Postmenopausal osteoporosis is common and underrecognized among elderly women. Osteoporotic fractures cause disability and disfigurement and threaten patients’ mobility, independence, and survival. Care for incident fractures in this age group must go beyond orthopedic repair, to assessment and treatment of the underlying bone fragility. Fracture risk can be reduced by vitamin D and calcium supplementation along with antiresorptive drug treatment. First-line osteoporosis pharmacotherapy employs nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates. The inconvenience of daily oral treatment has motivated development of weekly, monthly, and intermittent oral regimens, as well as quarterly and yearly intravenous (iv) regimens. Ibandronate is the first bisphosphonate to have shown direct anti-fracture efficacy with a non-daily regimen; it was approved for once-monthly oral dosing in 2005 and for quarterly iv dosing in 2006. Intermittent oral risedronate and yearly iv zoledronic acid were approved in 2007. Newly available regimens with extended dosing intervals reduce the inconvenience of bisphosphonate therapy and provide patients with a range of options from which to select a maximally sustainable course of treatment. This review discusses the development, efficacy, safety, and tolerability of extended-interval bisphosphonate regimens and examines their potential to improve patient acceptance and long-term success of osteoporosis treatment.

Keywords: ibandronate, alendronate, risedronate, zoledronic acid, adherence, persistence

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