Common osteoporosis drug slows formation of new bone

April 17, 2013

Although the drug zoledronic acid slows bone loss in osteoporosis patients, it also boosts levels of a biomarker that stops bone formation, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

Osteoporosis weakens bones and increases the risk patients will suffer fractures. The findings suggest combination therapy may be a more effective approach to battling this common condition.

"The key to effectively treating osteoporosis lies in increasing bone mass," said the study's lead author, Antonino Catalano, MD, PhD, of the University of Messina in Italy. " halts , but it also signals the body to stop forming new bone mass. The drug may need to be combined with other treatments to add bone mass."

The prospective intervention study followed the treatment of 40 postmenopausal women at an ambulatory care center. Half of the women received zoledronic acid, and half received a placebo. Levels of sclerostin – a that inhibits – increased among the participants who were treated with zoledronic acid.

"The data points to an opportunity to increase bone mass by combining zoledronic acid with a drug that suppresses the resulting sclerostin's effect," Catalano said. "An innovative combination therapy using zoledronic acid and selective antibodies to block the sclerostin could simultaneously stop bone loss and encourage new bone formation. This is an important avenue for researchers to explore as they develop new osteoporosis treatments."

Explore further: Yearly zoledronic acid at lower-than-standard doses increases bone density

More information: The article, "Zoledronic Acid Acutely Increases Sclerostin Serum Levels in Women with Postmenopausal Osteoporosis," appears in the May 2013 issue of JCEM.

Related Stories

Once-yearly zoledronic acid benefits men with osteoporosis

November 2, 2012

(HealthDay)—For men with osteoporosis, a once-yearly infusion with zoledronic acid is associated with fewer vertebral fractures and improved bone health compared with placebo, according to a study published in the Nov. ...

Recommended for you

Why kicking the opioid habit can be so tough

July 20, 2016

(HealthDay)—He was 26, a specialist fifth class with the U.S. Army, and stationed abroad, when an accident on the German autobahn sent him careening through the windshield of his car.

New research shows vaccine protection against Zika virus

June 28, 2016

The rapid development of a safe and effective vaccine to prevent the Zika virus (ZIKV) is a global priority, as infection in pregnant women has been shown to lead to fetal microcephaly and other major birth defects. The World ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.