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Hematology

Alendronate appears effective in thalassemia-associated osteoporosis

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Alendronate, a commonly prescribed medication for osteoporosis significantly improves bone mineral density (BMD) and reduces bone turnover markers (BTMs) in patients with thalassemia-associated osteoporosis, according to a study.

In this randomized controlled trial, conducted over a 12-month period, 51 patients with thalassemia including males between the ages of 18-50 years and premenopausal females with low BMD or positive vertebral deformities were randomized to receive once weekly oral alendronate (70 mg) or placebo.

The group that received alendronate showed a significant improvement in BMD at the L1-L4 vertebrae compared to baseline measurements, whereas the placebo group exhibited no notable change in BMD. However, no significant alterations in BMD were observed at the femoral neck in either group.

Moreover, the alendronate group experienced a significant decrease in serum BTMs at both the 6-month and 12-month mark. These markers of bone resorption were notably reduced, indicating a positive impact on bone health. Additionally, both study groups reported a reduction in back pain scores compared to the baseline, emphasizing the potential of alendronate in alleviating discomfort associated with osteoporosis.

Reference
Piriyakhuntorn P, Tantiworawit A, Phimphilai M, et al. The efficacy of alendronate for the treatment of thalassemia-associated osteoporosis: a randomized controlled trial. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2023;14:1178761. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2023.1178761. PMID: 37251676; PMCID: PMC10210588.

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