What are Bisphosphonates?
Bisphosphonates are a group of medicines that slow down or prevent bone loss, strengthening bones. Bisphosphonates inhibit osteoclasts which are responsible for breaking down and reabsorbing minerals such as calcium from bone (the process is known as bone resorption). Bisphosphonates allow osteoblasts (bone building cells) to work more effectively, improving bone mass.
Bisphosphonates are used in the treatment of osteoporosis, Paget's disease of bone, and may be used to lower high calcium levels in people with cancer. When used to treat osteoporosis, the optimal duration of treatment is not yet known; however, the majority of benefits appear to happen within the first five years of treatment and long-term use has been associated with atypical femur fractures, osteonecrosis of the jaw and esophageal cancer. Experts recommend the need for bisphosphonate treatment should be reviewed every three to five years.
List of Bisphosphonates:
Medical conditions associated with bisphosphonates:
- Aseptic Necrosis
- Breast Cancer, Bone Metastases
- Heterotopic Ossification, Spinal Cord Injury
- Heterotopic Ossification, Total Hip Arthroplasty
- Hypercalcemia of Malignancy
- Osteolytic Bone Lesions of Multiple Myeloma
- Osteolytic Bone Metastases of Solid Tumors
- Paget's Disease
- Prevention of Osteoporosis