The effect of short term treatment with alendronate on vertebral density and biochemical markers of bone remodeling in early postmenopausal women

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1993 Jun;76(6):1399-406. doi: 10.1210/jcem.76.6.8501142.


The effects of oral alendronate treatment on spinal bone mineral density and biochemical markers of bone turnover were assessed in women in the early postmenopausal period. Sixty-five women were treated with placebo or 5, 20, or 40 mg alendronate daily for 6 weeks in a double blind study. Treatment with alendronate decreased both urinary markers of bone resorption (pyridinolines, hydroxyproline, and calcium) and serum markers of bone formation (osteocalcin and alkaline phosphatase) in a dose-dependent fashion. This short term treatment with alendronate also produced a dose-dependent increase in lumbar bone mineral density measured 7.5 months after the completion of therapy. Median percent changes in integral spinal bone mineral density, as assessed by dual x-ray absorptiometry, were -2.3, -1.2, +0.7, and +1.2 after treatment with placebo and 5, 20, and 40 mg alendronate, respectively. Treatment with alendronate was well tolerated and produced no fever; gastrointestinal intolerance was no more common than with placebo treatment. Short term alendronate treatment in early postmenopausal women decreased bone turnover and increased vertebral density.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alendronate
  • Biomarkers
  • Blood / metabolism
  • Bone Density / drug effects*
  • Bone Remodeling / drug effects*
  • Diphosphonates / administration & dosage*
  • Diphosphonates / adverse effects
  • Diphosphonates / therapeutic use
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxycholecalciferols / blood
  • Menopause
  • Middle Aged
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood
  • Spine / drug effects*
  • Time Factors
  • Urine / chemistry


  • Biomarkers
  • Diphosphonates
  • Hydroxycholecalciferols
  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Alendronate