Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 202–207

Prevention of glucocorticoid-induced osteopenia: Effect of oral 25-hydroxyvitamin D and calcium


  • O. Di Munno
    • Rheumatic Diseases UnitUniversity of Pisa
  • F. Beghe
    • Rheumatic Diseases UnitUniversity of Pisa
  • P. Favini
    • Medical DepartmentRoussel Maestretti
  • P. Di Giuseppe
    • Rheumatic Diseases UnitUniversity of Pisa
  • A. Pontrandolfo
    • Rheumatic Diseases UnitUniversity of Pisa
  • G. Occhipinti
    • Rheumatic Diseases UnitUniversity of Pisa
  • G. Pasero
    • Rheumatic Diseases UnitUniversity of Pisa

DOI: 10.1007/BF02030075

Cite this article as:
Di Munno, O., Beghe, F., Favini, P. et al. Clin Rheumatol (1989) 8: 202. doi:10.1007/BF02030075


Twenty-four patients (9 M and 15 F, age range 51–82) with polymyalgia rheumatica receiving 6-methylprednisolone for a period of 9 months (16 mg/daily/two weeks, 14 mg/daily/two weeks, 12 mg/daily/1 month, 10 mg/daily/1 month, 8 mg/daily/1 month, 6 mg/daily/1 month and 4 mg/daily for the last four months) were randomly assigned to receive either 250HD3 (35 mcg/day for 25 days/month) (Group A) or placebo (Group B) in a double-blind study. All patients also received 500 mg elemental calcium daily. Before and at 3,6 and 9 months ESR, tenderness on palpation and subjective pain were evaluated. At the same times, mineral metabolism parameters (serum calcium, phosphorus, alkaline phosphatase, 24-h urinary calcium, phosphate and 24-h hydroxyproline excretion) and radial bone mineral content (BMC) were evaluated. Activity indexes (ESR and clinical parameters) improved in both groups. Furthermore, serum alkaline phosphatase and 24-h hydroxyproline excretion decreased significantly only in Group A, and BMC decreased significantly in Group B but rose slightly in Group A. No side effects were observed in any of the patients.

Key words

Polymyalgia RheumaticaGlucocorticoid Osteopenia25-Hydroxyvitamin DCalcium

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989