Monthly Doses of Minodronate for Osteoporosis Are Safe and Effective, Researchers Say

Man pouring pills into his handIt’s been proven that a daily 1 mg dose of oral minodronate has anti-vertebral fracture efficacy. But a treatment plan that involves taking monthly doses of oral minodronate may be an option for patients with osteoporosis who are already taking this medication.

Researchers from Japan investigated this more deeply by comparing the overall safety and effectiveness of oral minodronate at monthly doses of 30 mg or 50 mg to minodronate at a daily dose of 1 mg in patients with osteoporosis.

Results were published online in September 2011 (published in Osteoporosis International) in an article called “Efficacy and safety of monthly oral minodronate in patients with involutional osteoporosis.”

The study included 692 patients with involutional osteoporosis who were randomized to receive minodronate at monthly doses of either 30 mg or 50 mg, or minodronate at a daily dose of 1 mg.

For the purposes of this study, the primary endpoint was the percent change from baseline in lumbar spine (LS) bone mineral density (BMD) at 12 months. Also evaluated were total hip BMD, bone turnover markers, serum calcium, and parathyroid hormone levels.

The study found that minodronate at monthly doses of 30 mg or 50 mg was non-inferior to the daily dose of 1 mg in terms of change in LS-BMD; changes in total hip BMD were comparable as well. A transient reduction in serum calcium and increase in parathyroid hormone levels were seen in all 3 groups at somewhat different magnitudes and time courses; however, changes in bone turnover markers were comparable among the different groups with a similar time course. Safety profiles were similar, too.

Researchers determined that oral minodronate at monthly doses of 30 mg or 50 mg has similar efficacy as a daily dose of 1 mg in terms of BMD and bone turnover markers. The monthly dose also has similar tolerability.

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