What is Bisphosphonates?
Bisphosphonates are a class of drugs that prevent the loss of bone mass, used to treat osteoporosis and similar diseases. They are the most commonly prescribed drugs used to treat osteoporosis. They are called bisphosphonates because they have two phosphonate () groups.
Evidence shows that they reduce the risk of fracture in post-menopausal women with osteoporosis.
Bone undergoes constant turnover and is kept in balance (homeostasis) by osteoblasts creating bone and osteoclasts destroying bone. Bisphosphonates inhibit the digestion of bone by encouraging osteoclasts to undergo apoptosis, or cell death, thereby slowing bone loss.
The uses of bisphosphonates include the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, osteitis deformans ("Paget's disease of bone"), bone metastasis (with or without hypercalcaemia), multiple myeloma, primary hyperparathyroidism, osteogenesis imperfecta, fibrous dysplasia, and other conditions that feature bone fragility.