, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp 347-358
Date: 30 Aug 2012

Anabolic Agents for Osteoporosis

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Abstract

Antiresorptive agents for osteoporosis are a cornerstone of therapy, but anabolic drugs have recently widened our therapeutic options. By directly stimulating bone formation, anabolic agents reduce fracture incidence by improving other bone qualities in addition to increasing bone mass. Teriparatide (human parathyroid hormone[1–34]) has clearly emerged as a major approach for selected patients with osteoporosis. Teriparatide increases bone mineral density and bone turnover, improves bone microarchitecture, and changes bone size. The incidence of vertebral and non-vertebral fractures is reduced. Teriparatide is approved in many countries throughout the world for the treatment of both postmenopausal women and men with osteoporosis who are at high risk for fracture. Another anabolic agent, strontium ranelate, may both promote bone formation and inhibit bone resorption. Clinical trials support the use of strontium ranelate as a treatment for postmenopausal osteoporosis and have shown that strontium ranelate reduces the frequency of vertebral and non-vertebral fractures. Other potential anabolic therapies for osteoporosis, including other forms of parathyroid hormone, growth hormone, and insulin-like growth factor-I, have been examined, although less data are currently available on these approaches.