Fluoride Action Network


All currently available and approved therapies for osteoporosis inhibit bone resorption. But, despite their great value, antiresorptive agents are generally not associated with dramatic increases in bone mass. In light of these data, the aim of our prospective, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial, with a 3-year follow up, was to examine the effects of cyclic intravenous pamidronate and fluoride in combination, versus pamidronate alone, on bone mineral density (BMD) at vertebral and femoral levels, biochemical markers of bone turnover, IGF-1 serum levels, and safety and tolerability in 40 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. During the treatment period, pamidronate alone reduced both markers of bone formation and bone resorption, resulting in an increase of BMD, after 3 years, of 7.07% at the lumbar level and of 6.76% at the femoral level. In the group treated with pamidronate and fluoride, markers of bone turnover had a different trend: after 3 years, there was a lower reduction of bone resorption and an increase of bone formation markers, with a concomitant increase in IGF-1 levels. This resulted, after 3 years of treatment, in a marked variation of BMD at the lumbar level (+12.74%) and a reduced, but still significant, increase at the femoral level (3.89%). Spine radiography and clinical evaluation did not reveal any vertebral fractures in either treatment group. In conclusion, the combined use of pamidronate and fluoride produced somewhat larger, continuous increases in BMD, at the lumbar level, than pamidronate alone.