An Endoscopic Comparison of the Effects of Alendronate and Risedronate on Upper Gastrointestinal Mucosae

Lanza, Frank; Schwartz, Howard; Sahba, Bruce; Malaty, Hoda M.; Musliner, Thomas; Reyes, Robert; Quan, Hui; Graham, David Y.
November 2000
American Journal of Gastroenterology;Nov2000, Vol. 95 Issue 11, p3112
Academic Journal
OBJECTIVES: The nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates alendronate and risedronate have been reported to have upper gastrointestinal (GI) safety and tolerability profiles comparable to those of placebo. Nevertheless, both agents have demonstrated similar potential for irritation of gastric mucosa at high doses in preclinical studies. The present study compared the potential for alendronate and risedronate to produce endoscopic upper GI mucosal irritation using the highest approved dosage regimens for the two agents. METHODS: This was a multicenter, randomized, parallel-group, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in which a total of 235 patients (men or postmenopausal women, aged 45-80 yr) with normal upper GI endoscopy at baseline received 28-day treatments with the following: alendronate 40 mg/day (N = 90), risedronate 30 mg/day (N = 89), placebo (N = 36), or placebo with aspirin 650 mg q.i.d. for the last 7 days (N = 20), Endoscopy was repeated on day 29 using standardized scoring scales, RESULTS: After 28 days of treatment, the alendronate and risedronate groups had comparable mean gastric and duodenal erosion scores that were significantly lower than those of the aspirin group. Esophageal scores were comparable in all groups. Gastric ulcers and/or large numbers of gastric erosions occurred in approximately 3% of alendronate and risedronate patients versus 60% with aspirin. Both bisphosphonates were clinically well tolerated, CONCLUSIONS: The potential for gastroduodenal irritation is similar for alendronate and risedronate and is markedly less than for aspirin. The findings of this study, together with the large placebo-controlled clinical trial experience with both agents and extensive epidemiological data for alendronate, suggest that the risk for clinically important gastric irritation with these bisphosphonates is very low, even at the highest available doses.


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