Osteoporosis drugs compared for side effects, efficacy

A study comparing the efficacy and tolerability of two popular osteoporosis drugs, denosumab and zoledronic acid, found that denosumab had a significantly greater effect on increasing spine bone mineral density and zoledronic acid caused more flulike symptoms. These findings were presented recently at the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research's annual meeting.

Researchers performed a retrospective chart review and survey of 107 patients to compare the efficacy, patient satisfaction, cost and known of denosumab versus , including muscle pain, back pain and flulike symptoms. The denosumab and zoledronic acid groups were statistically similar in all areas but spine (increased 0.060 g/cm2 versus 0.021 g/cm2, respectively) and flulike symptoms (none versus 29 percent of patients).

"Both groups of patients were satisfied with their treatment despite the discrepancies in the drugs," said Kellen Sheedy, first author and Stritch School of Medicine student.

The FDA approved denosumab in 2010 for with osteoporosis. It is injected subcutaneously (60 mg) every six months. The treatment works by inhibiting and fracture risk.

Zoledronic acid was approved by the FDA in 2007 for osteoporosis. This treatment is administered intravenously (5 mg) once every 12 months. It is the most potent of the drugs in its class, and it works by interfering with the bone-breakdown process.

"This study helped us quantify the efficacy and adverse effects of these two drugs providing further guidance for physicians who prescribe these treatments," said Pauline Camacho, MD, study investigator and director of the Osteoporosis & Metabolic Bone Disease Center at Loyola University Health System. "While this was the first head-to-head comparison of these two treatments, larger prospective studies will be needed to confirm these findings."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Common osteoporosis drug slows formation of new bone

Apr 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 ...

Denosumab delayed time to first skeletal-related side effect

Dec 10, 2010

For patients with breast cancer and bone metastases, denosumab delayed skeletal-related side effects five months longer compared to those on zoledronic acid, according to results presented at the 33rd Annual CTRC-AACR San ...

Recommended for you

UN Ebola pointman to visit west Africa

1 hour ago

The UN's new pointman on Ebola was due to arrive in west Africa on Thursday for a visit aimed at shoring up health services in the region where at least 1,350 lives have been lost to the virus.

Two Americans with Ebola leave hospital (Update)

3 hours ago

Two American missionaries who fell ill with the dangerous Ebola virus while working in Liberia have recovered and have been released from an Atlanta hospital, doctors said Thursday.

Leprosy: Myanmar struggles with ancient scourge

7 hours ago

High in the hills of Myanmar's war-torn borderlands, a clutch of new leprosy cases among communities virtually cut off from medical help is a sign that the country's battle with the ancient disease is far from over.

User comments