Postmenopausal osteoporosis

Some of the views expressed in the following notes on newly approved products should be regarded as preliminary, as there may have been limited published data at the time of publication, and little experience in Australia of their safety or efficacy. However, the Editorial Executive Committee believes that comments made in good faith at an early stage may still be of value. Before new drugs are prescribed, the Committee believes it is important that more detailed information is obtained from the manufacturer's approved product information, a drug information centre or some other appropriate source.

More than 3500 women were randomised to take risedronate or a placebo for three years. The women enrolled in the trials had a history of vertebral fractures. Their fracture risk was reduced significantly by risedronate. In one study the cumulative frequency of new vertebral fractures after three years was 11%in patients taking risedronate and 16% in those taking a placebo. Compared to placebo, risedronate also increased bone density in the lumbar spine by5%.