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eISSN: 1643-3750

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Teriparatide vs. Alendronate as a treatment for osteoporosis: Changes in biochemical markers of bone turnover, BMD and quality of life

Annalisa Panico, Gelsy Arianna Lupoli, Francesca Marciello, Roberta Lupoli, Marianna Cacciapuoti, Addolorata Martinelli, Luciana Granieri, Daniela Iacono, Giovanni Lupoli

Med Sci Monit 2011; 17(8): CR442-448

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.881905


Background:    We studied the use of teriparatide in postmenopausal women with severe osteoporosis.
    Material/Methods:    Two groups (A and B) of patients affected by severe osteoporosis (T-score ≤–2.5 at bone mineral density were analyzed and 2 vertebral fractures on radiograph).
        Group A was treated for 18 months with 20 µg/day of teriparatide. Group B was treated with bisphosphonates 70 mg/week. Every woman assumed 1 g of calcium and 800 IU of vitamin D3 daily. We evaluated the effects of therapy after 18 months (T18) from the beginning with bone turnover markers (alkaline phosphatase, procollagen type 1 N-terminal propeptide, and N-telopeptide cross-links) and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.
    Results:    Group A, at T18 procollagen type 1 N-terminal propeptide levels, increased 127%; bone alkaline phosphatase levels increased to 65%; N-telopeptide cross-links levels increased to 110%.
        Group B, at T18 procollagen type 1 N-terminal propeptide levels, decreased to 74%; bone alkaline phosphatase levels decreased to 41%; N-telopeptide cross-links levels decreased to 72%.
        After 18 months, lumbar bone mineral density increased to 12.4% and femoral bone mineral density increased to 5.2% in group A. Group B lumbar bone mineral density increased to 3.85% and femoral bone mineral density increased to 1.99%. Only a new vertebral fracture occurred in group A (2.4%), whereas 6 fractures occurred in group B (15.7%).
        The quality of life questionnaire of the European Foundation for Osteoporosis (QUALEFFO) revealed a significant improvement in daily living, performed domestic jobs, and locomotor function in groups A and B.
    Conclusions:    The use of rhPTH in patients with severe osteoporosis offers more protection against fractures and improves the QoL more than bisphosphonates.

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