Study shows Actonel reduces vertebral fracture risk 70 percent in patients on chronic steroid therapy

Las Vegas Vertebral fracture risk in men and women who take oral glucocorticoid treatment (> 7.5 mg/day prednisone or equivalent) for chronic diseases is significantly reduced with Actonel (risedronate sodium tablets) 5 mg in just one year, according to data presented today at the 66th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology in Las Vegas.

Patients on Actonel 5 mg daily while initiating or continuing glucocorticoid (a class of steroids) therapy experienced significant vertebral fracture reduction of 70 percent compared to placebo (p=0.01, absolute risk reduction 10.8 percent) within just one year. All patients received calcium supplementation and some received vitamin D. Vertebral fractures were confirmed radiographically, some were associated with symptoms.

The research results were presented by Stanley Wallach, M.D., Executive Director of the American College of Nutrition and Co-Director of the Hospital for Joint Diseases Osteoporosis Center at ArthroFitness, New York, N.Y., involving over 500 men and women, age 18 to 85, on chronic glucocorticoid therapy.

The majority of patients on chronic glucocorticoid therapy do not receive treatment to prevent bone loss, said Dr. Wallach. Early intervention is important because glucocorticoid-induced bone loss can happen in as little as three months, which can quickly lead to fractures.

It is estimated that up to 50 percent of patients on chronic glucocorticoid therapy (> 7.5 mg/day prednisone or equivalent) will experience osteoporotic fractures. Glucocorticoids are a primary therapy for many inflammatory and autoimmune diseases including asthma and rheumatoid arthritis as well as many allergic conditions.

Guidelines issued earlier this year by the ACR recommend bisphosphonates as first-line therapy for preventing GIO in men and postmenopausal women. This is in conjunction with calcium, vitamin D and lifestyle modifications for patients who are initiatin

Contact: Jim Guarnera
Hill and Knowlton

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