Pharmacological topics of bone metabolism: recent advances in pharmacological management of osteoporosis

Atsushi Suzuki, Sahoko Sekiguchi, Shogo Asano, Mitsuyasu Itoh
Journal of Pharmacological Sciences 2008, 106 (4): 530-5
The prevention of osteoporotic fracture is an essential socioeconomical priority, especially in the developed countries including Japan. Estrogen, selective estrogen-receptor modulators (SERMs), and bisphosphonate are potent inhibitors of bone resorption; and they have clinical relevance to reduce osteoporotic fractures in postmenopausal women. However, we can prevent at most 50% of vertebral fractures with these agents. For the better compliance of aminobisphosphonate, the use of a daily bisphosphonate regimen is moving to a weekly or monthly bisphosphonate regimen. Both cathepsin K inhibitors and modulators of the RANK-RANKL system, which can reduce bone resorption, are the candidates for the future treatment of osteoporosis. As well as bone resorption, we need to increase bone formation to prevent osteoporotic fractures, particularly in elderly patients with low bone turnover. In the U.S., Europe, and Australia, they have already started intermittent parathyroid hormone injection and/or oral strontium ranelate to stimulate bone formation. We still need to discover new agents to reduce osteoporotic fractures for the better quality of life without fractures.

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