Optimizing the benefits of bisphosphonates in osteoporosis : the importance of appropriate calcium intake

Treat Endocrinol. 2006;5(6):375-83. doi: 10.2165/00024677-200605060-00006.


Osteoporosis is a major cause of morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs. The socioeconomic burden of osteoporosis is likely to increase dramatically if improvements in prevention are not made. Calcium supplementation effectively reduces the rate of bone loss in postmenopausal women, yet most women do not achieve an adequate calcium intake. In fact, use of calcium supplementation appears to have declined as the more effective antiresorptive therapies, such as bisphosphonates, have become available. Among patients prescribed bisphosphonates, calcium intake is often insufficient, despite the fact that adequate calcium intake may be necessary to gain the maximum benefits from antiresorptive therapy. In addition, because calcium interferes with bisphosphonate absorption, incorrect use of calcium may limit the efficacy of bisphosphonate therapy. This underscores the need for new initiatives to reduce the confusion surrounding appropriate calcium use during antiresorptive therapy. Co-packaging of bisphosphonates with calcium supplements is one strategy to help ensure that patients taking bisphosphonates not only achieve adequate calcium intake but also gain the maximum benefit from bisphosphonate therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Diphosphonates* / therapeutic use
  • Drug Packaging
  • Humans
  • Osteoporosis* / drug therapy
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / drug therapy


  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Diphosphonates