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June 19, 1996


Author Affiliations

Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Ga

JAMA. 1996;275(23):1806-1807. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530470034020

Several recent studies have given us a better understanding of the management of some common endocrine diseases and documented the efficacy of new therapies for others.

For the treatment of osteoporosis, Liberman et al1 evaluated alendronate sodium, an amino bisphosphonate, in 994 women in a multicenter, placebo-controlled trial. Treatment with 10 mg of alendronate sodium daily for 3 years produced significant increases of bone density at the lumbar spine (about 8%), proximal femur, and total body. The incidence and severity of new vertebral fractures was significantly reduced by alendronate treatment. Safety and tolerance of alendronate were excellent. As with all bisphosphonates, alendronate must be taken on an empty stomach to ensure absorption. It should be used with caution (if at all) in patients with impaired renal function, and should not be used in patients with hypocalcemia.

Pak et al2 evaluated slow-release sodium fluoride in a placebo-controlled trial involving