A new osteoporosis treatment may be on the horizon, which can be given intravenously once a year.
This intravenous bisphosphonate significantly increases bone density in women with post-menopausal osteoporosis. It is the first time that a medication of this type has been given at intervals up to one year between doses and has produced sustained suppression of bone turn over and increase in bone mineral density in the spine and in the hip.
The oral preparations, although effective in treating osteoporosis, have complicated dosing requirements and often lead to compliance problems. Plus, gastrointestinal side effects are common.
The study was conducted at twenty-five centers in ten different countries and showed that bone mineral density increased similarly to those produced with oral daily or weekly dosing.
The medication is not available in the United States as yet. A phase III study is underway which we hope will lead to eventual FDA approval of the medication to be used in the general population.