Role of alendronate and risedronate in preventing and treating osteoporosis

Cleve Clin J Med. 2001 Nov;68(11):945-51. doi: 10.3949/ccjm.68.11.945.


Alendronate and risedronate, the two oral bisphosphonates approved in the United States for preventing and treating osteoporosis, have never been compared in direct head-to-head trials, but they appear to have similar pharmacokinetics, drug interactions, adverse effect profiles, and efficacy. Alendronate, however, can be given as a once-weekly dose, whereas risedronate is not yet available in this dosage form. On the other hand, alendronate is not approved for preventing glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis, whereas risedronate carries this indication.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alendronate / administration & dosage
  • Alendronate / adverse effects
  • Alendronate / therapeutic use*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Diphosphonates / therapeutic use
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Etidronic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Etidronic Acid / adverse effects
  • Etidronic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Etidronic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Osteoporosis / chemically induced
  • Osteoporosis / drug therapy*
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / drug therapy
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Risedronic Acid
  • United States


  • Diphosphonates
  • Risedronic Acid
  • Etidronic Acid
  • Alendronate