A 12 month, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, multicentre study by Jencen and colleagues demonstrated that 5 mg/day of risedronate (Actonel) given for twelve months was effective in significantly increasing bone mineral density and lowering the risk of vertebral fractures, for patients on chronic corticosteroid therapy. From the abstract it is unclear if these fractures were clinically symptomatic, radiologically detected, or both. Risedronate prevents bone loss by inhibiting bone resorption. It represents a new type of biphosphonate which is hoped to have less gastrointestinal complications than other bisphosphonates, however, residronate is not available in Canada at this time.
Adachi and colleagues pooled results from two similarly designed, randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trials examining the effectiveness of Etidronate (Didrocal) (which is available in Canada). Intermittent cyclical therapy with etidronate in patients recently starting corticosteroids proved to be effective in preventing bone loss in men, pre- and post-menopausal women. This data supports previously published studies employing a bisphosphonate to decrease the loss of bone mineral density with chronic systemic corticosteroid use.
Abstracts are available at http://ex2.excerptamedica.com/98ac
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