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Medical News & Perspectives
May 25, 2005

Longer-lasting Osteoporosis Drugs Sought

JAMA. 2005;293(20):2458. doi:10.1001/jama.293.20.2458

Washington, DC—The approval of once-monthly ibandronate in March by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may substantially improve patients’ ability to adhere to osteoporosis treatments. The trend of drug companies testing osteoporosis drugs in clinical trials that require less frequent doses was highlighted at the Sixth International Symposium on Osteoporosis in April.

The FDA-approved drugs for the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women include antiresorptive agents that reduce bone loss: estrogen, calcitonin, raloxifene (a selective estrogen receptor modulator or SERM), and bisphosphonates (alendronate, and risedronate, which are taken daily or weekly) and ibandronate (taken monthly). For patients who do not respond to antiresorptives, there is one FDA-approved anabolic agent, teriparatide, a synthetic form of parathyroid hormone, which can help build bone.