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Effect of teriparatide [rhPTH(1-34)] on BMD when given to postmenopausal women receiving hormone replacement therapy.

UNLABELLED: The effects of teriparatide when given in combination with HRT were studied in postmenopausal women with low bone mass or osteoporosis. The data provide evidence that the adverse event profile for combination therapy with teriparatide + HRT together is consistent with that expected for each treatment alone and that the BMD response is greater than for HRT alone.

INTRODUCTION: Teriparatide [rhPTH(1-34)], given as a once-daily injection, activates new bone formation in patients with osteoporosis. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) prevents osteoporosis by reducing bone resorption and formation. Combination therapy with these two compounds, in small clinical trials, increased BMD and reduced vertebral fracture burden. The purpose of this study was to determine whether teriparatide provided additional effect on BMD when given in combination with HRT.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted in postmenopausal women with either low bone mass or osteoporosis. Patients were randomized to placebo subcutaneous plus HRT (n = 125) or teriparatide 40 microg/day (SC) plus HRT (TPTD40 + HRT; n = 122) for a median treatment exposure of 13.8 months. Approximately one-half of the patients in each group were pretreated with HRT for at least 12 months before randomization. Patients received 1000 mg calcium and 400-1200 IU of vitamin D daily as oral supplementation. BMD was measured by DXA.

RESULTS: Compared with HRT alone, TPTD40 + HRT produced significant (p < 0.001) increases in spine BMD (14% versus 3%), total hip (5.2% versus 1.6%), and femoral neck (5.2% versus 2%) at study endpoint. BMD, in whole body and ultradistal radius, was higher, and in the one-third distal radius was lower, in the combination therapy but not in the HRT group. Serum bone-specific alkaline phosphatase and urinary N-telopeptide/Cr were increased significantly (p < 0.01) in the women receiving TPTD40 + HRT compared with HRT. A similar profile of BMD and bone markers was evident in both randomized patients as well as in subgroups of patients not pretreated or pretreated with HRT. Patients tolerated both the treatments well. Nausea and leg cramps were more frequently reported in the TPTD40 + HRT group.

CONCLUSIONS: Adding teriparatide, a bone formation agent, to HRT, an antiresorptive agent, provides additional increases in BMD beyond that provided by HRT alone. The adverse effects of teriparatide when added to HRT were similar to the adverse effects described for teriparatide administered alone. Whether teriparatide was initiated at the same time as HRT or after at least 1 year on HRT, the incremental increases over HRT alone were similar.

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