Study Looks at the Effects of Teriparatide on Postmenopausal Women with Osteoporosis

What impact does this medication have on fracture risk and bone health?

Chinese researchers looked at the effectiveness of teriparatide supplementation in increasing bone mineral density (BMD)—specifically BMD in the spine and hip—and in reducing fracture risk in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. The researchers also examined whether the effects of teriparatide differed with various factors.
Microscope with slideTheir results were published in the February 2012 edition of the International Journal of Clinical Practice in the article “Effect of teriparatide on bone mineral density and fracture in postmenopausal osteoporosis: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.”

The research team identified 8 randomized controlled trials (n=2,388) for their study using electronic databases; they also did a hand-search of the reference lists.

The goal of the trials that were included in the study was to assess the effectiveness of a daily subcutaneous injection of teriparatide in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.

Both fracture risk and percentage change of BMD from baseline were the primary outcomes.

Researchers pooled data with a random-effects model.

After reviewing the data, they found that treatment was linked to an increase in bone mass of 8.14% in the spine (95% confidence interval [CI]: 6.72% to 9.55%; 8 trials, n=2,206) and 2.48% in the hip (95% CI: 1.67% to 3.29%; 7 trials, n=1,303) in the trials that reported BMD as an outcome.

In addition, they found that treatment was linked to a 70% decrease in risk of vertebral fractures (risk ratio: 0.30; 95% CI: 0.21 to 0.44; 3 trials, n=1,452) and a 38% decrease in risk of non-vertebral fractures (risk ratio: 0.62; 95% CI: 0.44 to 0.87; 3 trials, n=1,842) in the trials that reported fracture as an outcome.

It was observed that when taken with more than 1,500 mg of calcium, the parathyroid hormone treatment was associated with a significant boost in BMD gains at the total hip (1.40% vs 3.72%; p=0.004). Long-term duration did not appear to contribute to differences in how the patients responded to teriparatide.

The researchers concluded that there is enough evidence to support using teriparatide to treat postmenopausal women who have osteoporosis and who are at risk of fracture. They recommend further studies on this topic to directly compare concurrent therapy and calcium supplements with long-term duration.

Updated on: 07/10/17
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