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      Short-term and long-term effects of osteoporosis therapies

      Nature Reviews Endocrinology

      Springer Science and Business Media LLC

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          Abstract

          Progress continues to be made in the development of therapeutics for fracture prevention. Bisphosphonates are now available orally and intravenously, often as inexpensive generics, and remain the most widely used interventions for osteoporosis. The major safety concern associated with the use of bisphosphonates is the development of femoral shaft stress fractures and, although rare, this adverse event affords the principal rationale for restricting bisphosphonate therapy to those individuals with femoral T-scores <-2.5, and for providing drug holidays in those individuals requiring therapy for >5 years. Newer antiresorptive therapies, in the form of denosumab and cathepsin K inhibitors, might increase efficacy and possibly circumvent some of the safety concerns associated with bisphosphonate use (for example, gastrointestinal and renal complications). The combination of teriparatide with antiresorptives markedly increases effects on BMD; new anabolic agents are also very promising in this regard. However, whether or not these changes in BMD translate into improved efficacy of fracture prevention remains to be determined. Vitamin D is important for the prevention of osteomalacia, but does not influence BMD or fracture risk in patients not deficient in vitamin D. The balance of risks and benefits of calcium supplementation is contentious, but patients should be encouraged to adhere to a balanced diet aimed at maintaining a healthy body weight. Consideration of a patient's risk of falling, and its mitigation, are also important. In this Review, I summarize the short-term and long-term effects of osteoporosis therapies.

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          Most cited references 75

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          Effect of parathyroid hormone (1-34) on fractures and bone mineral density in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.

          Once-daily injections of parathyroid hormone or its amino-terminal fragments increase bone formation and bone mass without causing hypercalcemia, but their effects on fractures are unknown. We randomly assigned 1637 postmenopausal women with prior vertebral fractures to receive 20 or 40 microg of parathyroid hormone (1-34) or placebo, administered subcutaneously by the women daily. We obtained vertebral radiographs at base line and at the end of the study (median duration of observation, 21 months) and performed serial measurements of bone mass by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. New vertebral fractures occurred in 14 percent of the women in the placebo group and in 5 percent and 4 percent, respectively, of the women in the 20-microg and 40-microg parathyroid hormone groups; the respective relative risks of fracture in the 20-microg and 40-microg groups, as compared with the placebo group, were 0.35 and 0.31 (95 percent confidence intervals, 0.22 to 0.55 and 0.19 to 0.50). New nonvertebral fragility fractures occurred in 6 percent of the women in the placebo group and in 3 percent of those in each parathyroid hormone group (relative risk, 0.47 and 0.46, respectively [95 percent confidence intervals, 0.25 to 0.88 and 0.25 to 0.861). As compared with placebo, the 20-microg and 40-microg doses of parathyroid hormone increased bone mineral density by 9 and 13 more percentage points in the lumbar spine and by 3 and 6 more percentage points in the femoral neck; the 40-microg dose decreased bone mineral density at the shaft of the radius by 2 more percentage points. Both doses increased total-body bone mineral by 2 to 4 more percentage points than did placebo. Parathyroid hormone had only minor side effects (occasional nausea and headache). Treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis with parathyroid hormone (1-34) decreases the risk of vertebral and nonvertebral fractures; increases vertebral, femoral, and total-body bone mineral density; and is well tolerated. The 40-microg dose increased bone mineral density more than the 20-microg dose but had similar effects on the risk of fracture and was more likely to have side effects.
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            Atypical subtrochanteric and diaphyseal femoral fractures: second report of a task force of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

            Bisphosphonates (BPs) and denosumab reduce the risk of spine and nonspine fractures. Atypical femur fractures (AFFs) located in the subtrochanteric region and diaphysis of the femur have been reported in patients taking BPs and in patients on denosumab, but they also occur in patients with no exposure to these drugs. In this report, we review studies on the epidemiology, pathogenesis, and medical management of AFFs, published since 2010. This newer evidence suggests that AFFs are stress or insufficiency fractures. The original case definition was revised to highlight radiographic features that distinguish AFFs from ordinary osteoporotic femoral diaphyseal fractures and to provide guidance on the importance of their transverse orientation. The requirement that fractures be noncomminuted was relaxed to include minimal comminution. The periosteal stress reaction at the fracture site was changed from a minor to a major feature. The association with specific diseases and drug exposures was removed from the minor features, because it was considered that these associations should be sought rather than be included in the case definition. Studies with radiographic review consistently report significant associations between AFFs and BP use, although the strength of associations and magnitude of effect vary. Although the relative risk of patients with AFFs taking BPs is high, the absolute risk of AFFs in patients on BPs is low, ranging from 3.2 to 50 cases per 100,000 person-years. However, long-term use may be associated with higher risk (∼100 per 100,000 person-years). BPs localize in areas that are developing stress fractures; suppression of targeted intracortical remodeling at the site of an AFF could impair the processes by which stress fractures normally heal. When BPs are stopped, risk of an AFF may decline. Lower limb geometry and Asian ethnicity may contribute to the risk of AFFs. There is inconsistent evidence that teriparatide may advance healing of AFFs.
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              Vitamin D3 and calcium to prevent hip fractures in the elderly women.

              Hypovitaminosis D and a low calcium intake contribute to increased parathyroid function in elderly persons. Calcium and vitamin D supplements reduce this secondary hyperparathyroidism, but whether such supplements reduce the risk of hip fractures among elderly people is not known. We studied the effects of supplementation with vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) and calcium on the frequency of hip fractures and other nonvertebral fractures, identified radiologically, in 3270 healthy ambulatory women (mean [+/- SD] age, 84 +/- 6 years). Each day for 18 months, 1634 women received tricalcium phosphate (containing 1.2 g of elemental calcium) and 20 micrograms (800 IU) of vitamin D3, and 1636 women received a double placebo. We measured serial serum parathyroid hormone and 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations in 142 women and determined the femoral bone mineral density at base line and after 18 months in 56 women. Among the women who completed the 18-month study, the number of hip fractures was 43 percent lower (P = 0.043) and the total number of nonvertebral fractures was 32 percent lower (P = 0.015) among the women treated with vitamin D3 and calcium than among those who received placebo. The results of analyses according to active treatment and according to intention to treat were similar. In the vitamin D3-calcium group, the mean serum parathyroid hormone concentration had decreased by 44 percent from the base-line value at 18 months (P < 0.001) and the serum 25(OH)D concentration had increased by 162 percent over the base-line value (P < 0.001). The bone density of the proximal femur increased 2.7 percent in the vitamin D3-calcium group and decreased 4.6 percent in the placebo group (P < 0.001). Supplementation with vitamin D3 and calcium reduces the risk of hip fractures and other nonvertebral fractures among elderly women.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Reviews Endocrinology
                Nat Rev Endocrinol
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                1759-5029
                1759-5037
                July 2015
                May 12 2015
                July 2015
                : 11
                : 7
                : 418-428
                Article
                10.1038/nrendo.2015.71
                25963272
                © 2015

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