Comparison of a single infusion of zoledronic acid with risedronate for Paget's disease

N Engl J Med. 2005 Sep 1;353(9):898-908. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa044241.


Background: The advent of bisphosphonates advanced therapy for Paget's disease, but more effective and convenient agents are needed to increase adherence. Zoledronic acid, a bisphosphonate administered as a single intravenous infusion, might meet these needs.

Methods: In two identical, randomized, double-blind, actively controlled trials of 6 months' duration, we compared one 15-minute infusion of 5 mg of zoledronic acid with 60 days of oral risedronate (30 mg per day). The primary efficacy end point was the rate of therapeutic response at six months, defined as a normalization of alkaline phosphatase levels or a reduction of at least 75 percent in the total alkaline phosphatase excess. The results of the studies were pooled.

Results: At six months, 96.0 percent of patients receiving zoledronic acid had a therapeutic response (169 of 176), as compared with 74.3 percent of patients receiving risedronate (127 of 171, P<0.001). Alkaline phosphatase levels normalized in 88.6 percent of patients in the zoledronic acid group and 57.9 percent of patients in the risedronate group (P<0.001). Zoledronic acid was associated with a shorter median time to a first therapeutic response (64 vs. 89 days, P<0.001). Higher response rates in the zoledronic acid group were consistent across all demographic, disease-severity, and treatment-history subgroups and with changes in other bone-turnover markers. The physical-component summary score of the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form General Health Survey, a measure of the quality of life, increased significantly from baseline at both three and six months in the zoledronic acid group and differed significantly from those in the risedronate group at three months. Pain scores improved in both groups. During post-trial follow-up (median, 190 days), 21 of 82 patients in the risedronate group had a loss of therapeutic response, as compared with 1 of 113 patients in the zoledronic acid group (P<0.001).

Conclusions: A single infusion of zoledronic acid produces more rapid, more complete, and more sustained responses in Paget's disease than does daily treatment with risedronate.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Aged
  • Alkaline Phosphatase / blood
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Bone Remodeling / drug effects
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects
  • Bone and Bones / pathology
  • Diphosphonates / administration & dosage
  • Diphosphonates / adverse effects
  • Diphosphonates / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Etidronic Acid / adverse effects
  • Etidronic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Etidronic Acid / pharmacology
  • Etidronic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imidazoles / administration & dosage
  • Imidazoles / adverse effects
  • Imidazoles / therapeutic use*
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Osteitis Deformans / blood
  • Osteitis Deformans / drug therapy*
  • Quality of Life
  • Risedronic Acid
  • Zoledronic Acid


  • Biomarkers
  • Diphosphonates
  • Imidazoles
  • Zoledronic Acid
  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • Risedronic Acid
  • Etidronic Acid