Bisphosphonate dose and incidence of fractures in postmenopausal osteoporosis.Bone. 2009 May; 44(5):766-71.BONE
The specific pharmacological properties of bisphosphonates have raised concerns about their long-term effects on skeletal fragility that may be related to the total dose of bisphosphonate given. However, the effect of different doses on the incidence of osteoporotic fractures has not been adequately studied.
In this retrospective analysis, we investigated the effect of different doses of intravenous pamidronate given at 3-monthly intervals on the incidence of fractures in 92 women with severe postmenopausal osteoporosis.
The risk of sustaining a new vertebral fracture on treatment was significantly increased by 32% for every prevalent vertebral fracture (OR: 1.32, CI: 1.05, 1.66; p=0.02). Patients with nonvertebral fractures received a significantly lower dose of pamidronate and their risk for these fractures increased by 25% for every prevalent vertebral fracture at baseline (OR: 1.25, CI: 1.01, 1.53; p=0.03). Patients who had received oral bisphosphonate before intravenous pamidronate had a significantly higher incidence of nonvertebral fractures which, however, did not hold true after adjustment for baseline BMD and prevalent fractures.
In patients with established osteoporosis bone fragility during treatment with intravenous pamidronate is mainly determined by the severity of the disease, assessed by the presence and numbers of prevalent fractures, rather than the dose of the bisphosphonate or the rate of bone turnover.