Fosamax Blocks Normal Bone Function
Histomorphometric analysis of the cancellous bone showed markedly suppressed bone formation, with reduced or absent osteoblastic surface in most patients. Osteoclastic surface was low or low-normal in eight patients, and eroded surface was decreased in four. Matrix synthesis was markedly diminished, with absence of double-tetracycline label and absent or reduced single-tetracycline label in all patients. The same trend was seen in the intracortical and endocortical surfaces.
Our findings raise the possibility that severe suppression of bone turnover may develop during long-term alendronate therapy, resulting in increased susceptibility to, and delayed healing of, nonspinal fractures. Although coadministration of estrogen or glucocorticoids appears to be a predisposing factor, this apparent complication can also occur with monotherapy. Our observations emphasize the need for increased awareness and monitoring for the potential development of excessive suppression of bone turnover during long-term alendronate therapy.
Odvina CV, Zerwekh JE, Rao DS, Maalouf N, Gottschalk FA, Pak CY.
Severely suppressed bone turnover: a potential complication of alendronate therapy.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab
Center for Mineral Metabolism and Clinical Research (C.V.O., J.E.Z., N.M., C.Y.C.P.) and Division of Orthopedic Surgery (F.A.G.), University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas.