12/23/2009 - News

Osteoporosis drug might help in osteoarthritis too

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD



Osteoporosis drug might help in osteoarthritis too

Reported by Susan Aldridge, PhD, medical journalist

Risedronate may have potential as osteoarthritis treatment as well as for osteoporosis.
Risedronate is a medication which is used for treating osteoporosis. Research in animals and human suggest it can also slow down joint damage. This implies it could have a role in treating osteoarthritis too.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Hospital have carried out a study, along with international collaborators, into nearly 2,500 mean and women with osteoarthritis. All had a loss in the cartilage cushioning the knee, which is the hallmark of osteoarthritis. The participants were given varying doses of risedronate or placebo. The amount of cartilage in their knees was measured by x-ray at one and two years. Blood tests were also carried out to check levels of CTX-II, which is a marker of cartilage breakdown.

From the blood tests, it did appear that risedronate slowed cartilage breakdown. However, the x-rays did not show great change in the structure of the knee joint in those on risedronate compared to placebo. But few of those on risedronate showed significant progression of their osteoarthritis. It is too soon to recommend risedronate as a treatment for osteoarthritis, but it does look promising.

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions 21st November 2006

Created on: 11/28/2006
Reviewed on: 12/23/2009

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