Present and future of osteoporosis therapy

Bone. 1995 Aug;17(2 Suppl):23S-29S. doi: 10.1016/8756-3282(95)00203-p.


In the 50-year "modern" history of osteoporosis, there have been about 17 antifracture studies with sufficient attention to design to allow inference regarding efficacy. Antivertebral fracture efficacy has been reported with etidronate, estrogen patch, calcitonin, and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D. Two studies using fluoride were positive, and two were negative. Hip fractures have been neglected. One study showed efficacy of hip protectors, one showed efficacy of vitamin D and calcium in nursing home dwellers. The source of most hip fractures is the community. One community based antihip fracture efficacy study using annual injections of vitamin D was positive. There have been no antivertebral or antihip fracture studies in men, or in corticosteroid-related osteoporosis in men or women. Lack of independently repeated demonstration of efficacy, small fracture numbers, and data pooling in some of these (the best) studies leave great uncertainty. Estrogen and bisphosphonates appear to be the best options at this time. New data suggest that calcium supplementation is likely to reduce the rate of bone loss and perhaps reduce fracture rates. The challenge is to maintain and restore the constituents of bone mineral density (BMD), that is: to promote periosteal and endosteal bone formation; reduce endosteal bone resorption and cortical porosity; and increase trabecular thickness, number, and connectivity. There are many opportunities, for instance, intermittent parathyroid hormone (PTH) increases bone strength and, with estrogen, may increase connectivity. The anabolic effects of PTH may be partly mediated by IGF-1. IGF-1 increases periosteal, endosteal, and trabecular bone formation, cortical and trabecular width, and trabecular and endocortical connectivity.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Density / drug effects*
  • Bone Density / physiology
  • Bone Development / drug effects
  • Bone Resorption / drug therapy
  • Calcitonin / administration & dosage
  • Calcitonin / pharmacology
  • Calcitonin / therapeutic use
  • Calcitriol / administration & dosage
  • Calcitriol / pharmacology
  • Calcitriol / therapeutic use
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Calcium, Dietary / therapeutic use
  • Diphosphonates / administration & dosage
  • Diphosphonates / pharmacology
  • Diphosphonates / therapeutic use
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Estrogens / administration & dosage
  • Estrogens / pharmacology
  • Estrogens / therapeutic use*
  • Etidronic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Etidronic Acid / pharmacology
  • Etidronic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Fluorides / administration & dosage
  • Fluorides / pharmacology
  • Fluorides / therapeutic use
  • Fractures, Spontaneous / prevention & control*
  • Hip Fractures / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Osteoporosis / physiopathology
  • Osteoporosis / prevention & control
  • Osteoporosis / therapy*
  • Parathyroid Hormone / administration & dosage
  • Parathyroid Hormone / pharmacology
  • Parathyroid Hormone / therapeutic use
  • Spinal Fractures / prevention & control*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Diphosphonates
  • Estrogens
  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Calcitonin
  • Calcitriol
  • Etidronic Acid
  • Fluorides