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Intravenous zoledronic acid and oral alendronate in patients with a low trauma fracture: experience from an osteoporosis clinic

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Abstract Background/Aims:

Oral bisphosphonates have been shown to be effective in treating osteoporosis. However, there has been a significant problem with compliance. Newer intravenous bisphosphonates are available for osteoporosis management, but have not been compared with oral bisphosphonates in a clinical setting. The aim of this study was to compare the safety and effectiveness of intravenous zoledronic acid (ZOL) and oral alendronate (ALN) in osteoporotic patients following a low trauma fracture. Methods:

A non-randomized, retrospective cohort study was conducted of 169 patients with a low trauma fracture and reduced bone mineral density (BMD). Patients were treated with either an infusion of 4 mg ZOL or ALN 70 mg weekly. The outcomes measured were change in BMD after 12 months of treatment with either bisphosphonate, and new osteoporotic fractures. All adverse events were documented. Results:

Lumbar spine BMD (L2–L4) improved 5.6% in the ZOL group (P < 0.001) and 5.5% in the ALN group (P < 0.001). Total hip BMD improved 2% in the ZOL group (P < 0.01) and 2.5% in the ALN group (P < 0.001). There was no significant difference in BMD change between the groups. There were significantly more new fractures (P < 0.001) in the ZOL group (7.2%) than the ALN group (1%). The ZOL group were significantly older (P < 0.01) and had a significantly higher proportion of males (P < 0.05) at baseline. There were no serious adverse reactions in either group. Conclusion:

ZOL and ALN both produce a significant increase in BMD and are well tolerated in patients with osteoporotic, low trauma fractures. Yearly ZOL provides a safe, convenient alternative to weekly oral bisphosphonates.

Keywords: alendronate; bisphosphonate; low trauma fracture; osteoporosis; treatment; zoledronic acid

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Wollongong, Wollongong, and 2: Institute of Rheumatology and Orthopaedics, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney and

Publication date: February 1, 2011


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