Prevention and treatment of glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis
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Glucocorticoids continue to be used for many inflammatory diseases, and glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis (GIOP) remains the most common secondary form of metabolic bone disease. Recent meta-analyses suggest that both active and native vitamin D can help maintain lumbar spine bone mineral density (BMD), particularly in patients receiving lower-dose glucocorticoid therapy. Recent randomized, controlled clinical trials have shown that oral bisphosphonates are superior to vitamin D in maintaining BMD and should be continued for as long as a person receives glucocorticoid treatment. Similar to the oral bisphosphonates, intravenous ibandronate has been shown to preserve BMD and also to significantly reduce vertebral fracture risk. Increasing evidence supports a role for parathyroid hormone to prevent or treat GIOP as well. Despite effective therapies, many at-risk patients fail to receive treatment for GIOP, and even among those who initiate treatment, half discontinue within 1 to 2 years. New approaches to evidence implementation are being tested to improve the quality of osteoporosis care and decrease fracture risk among long-term glucocorticoid users.