, Volume 50, Issue 1, pp 7-10

Three-year calcitonin combination therapy for postmenopausal osteoporosis with crush fractures of the spine

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Forty-five postmenopausal osteoporotic women with at least one osteoporotic vertebral crush fracture were randomized into three treatment groups. Each patient was on calcitonin, 50 U, on alternate days for 2 weeks monthly (350 U/month), and 500 mg/day oral calcium supplementation. In group II, this therapy was supplemented with phosphate (750 mg/day), and in group III, norandrostenolone decanoate (50 mg/month) was added to the calcitonin + calcium therapy. Bone mineral content, by single photon absorptiometry, of the radius midshaft and distal site (3 cm), as well as the lumbar and metacarpal radiomorphometrical indices were estimated semiannually. The therapeutic trial lasted 36 months except in the phosphate supplementation group, where, due to unfavorable results, treatment was discontinued after 24 months. Calcitonin practically prevented further bone loss for 24 months even in this relatively small and intermittent dosage. Phosphate supplementation was without benefit; however, according to the majority of the examined parameters, combination of calcitonin with the anabolic steroid norandrostenolone decanoate extended efficacy up to 36 months. This latter combination seems to be a promising, relatively inexpensive therapeutic regimen in the treatment of established postmenopausal osteoporosis.