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22-02-2016 | Osteoporosis | Review | Article

Teriparatide for osteoporosis: importance of the full course

Osteoporosis International

Authors: R. Lindsay, J. H. Krege, F. Marin, L. Jin, J. J. Stepan

Publisher: Springer London


Teriparatide (TPTD) is the only currently available therapeutic agent that increases the formation of new bone tissue and can provide some remediation of the architectural defects in the osteoporotic skeleton. The use of teriparatide clinically is limited to 24 months. We review clinical findings during daily teriparatide treatment over time. Teriparatide appears to increase bone formation more than bone resorption as determined biochemically and histologically. Teriparatide exerts its positive effects on bone formation in two distinct fashions. The first is direct stimulation of bone formation that occurs within active remodeling sites (remodeling-based bone formation) and on surfaces of bone previously inactive (modeling-based bone formation). The second is an increase in the initiation of new remodeling sites. Both processes contribute to the final increase in bone density observed by non-invasive tools such as DXA. Remodeling is the repair process by which skeletal tissue is maintained in a young healthy state, and when stimulated by TPTD is associated with a positive bone balance within each remodeling cavity. It seems likely therefore that this component will contribute to the anti-fracture efficacy of TPTD. Teriparatide reduces the risk of fracture, and this effect appears to increase with longer duration of therapy. The use of novel treatment regimens, including shorter courses, should be held in abeyance until controlled clinical trials are completed to define the relative fracture benefits of such approaches in comparison to the 24-month daily use of the agent.
Summary In patients with osteoporosis at high risk for fracture, the full continuous 24-month course with teriparatide results in improved skeletal health and outcomes than shorter time periods.

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