Bisphosphonates are most commonly used to treat patients with osteoporosis, because they are antiresorptive agents and act on osteoclasts to decrease or stop the resorption of the bone. They can pass into breast milk and, therefore, should not be used by patients who are breast-feeding. They also cause esophageal erosions and should be used with caution in patients with gastrointestinal diseases. The older generation of bisphosphonates (eg, etidronate) caused osteomalacia when used in continuous mode and in high dosages; however, the newest medications in this class (eg, alendronate, risedronate) are safer and have not been shown to cause this complication.
- They are contraindicated in patients with renal impairment.
Click here to return to the questions
Seminars in Medical Practice
Hospital Physician Board Review Manuals
Copyright © 2009, Turner White Communications
Updated 1/04/08 kkj