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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 1999 March;90(3):85-90

language: Italian

Treatment of post-menopausal osteoporosis using etidronate

Terranova R., Luca S.


Background. Osteoporosis is a widespread social disease as it is considered to be the most common pathology affecting bone metabolism in the elderly. A group of patients suffering from post-menopausal osteoporosis have been treated with etidronate. Methods. This controlled study was performed on 32 post-menopausal women aged between 53 and 66 suffering from post-menopausal osteoporosis, treated at the Department of Geriatrics of the University of Catania where patients mainly come from Sicily and Southern Italy. The diagnosis was made after clinical examination and humoral tests as well as computerised total body bone densitometry. Patients were treated according to an intermittent cyclic scheme which consisted in the administration of 400 mg etidronate per day for 14 days and 500 mg calcium carbonate per day for the following 76 days. This treatment had to be repea-ted for one year. Patients in the placebo group were not treated. Results. The results of the study showed a significant increase of total body bone mineral density +5.6% (p=0.009), with a considerable improvement of clinical symptoms. No significant variation was detected in the control group. Conclusions. On the basis of the results obtai-ned, the conclusion is drawn that the intermittent cyclic treatment with etidronate is effective, well tolerated and with good compliance. Moreover, this drug proved to have no side effects.

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