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any of a group of related phosphorus-containing compounds that are structurally similar to pyrophosphate but have enhanced stability to enzymatic and chemical hydrolysis and have affinity for sites of osteoid mineralization. They are used as sodium salts to inhibit bone resorption as well as complexed with technetium Tc 99m for bone imaging. The group includes alendronate, etidronate, and pamidronate. Called also bisphosphonate.


Member of a class of drugs used for treatment of osteoporosis; works by inhibiting osteoclast-mediate resorption of bone.


/bis·phos·pho·nate/ (bis-fos´fo-nāt) diphosphonate.


Any of a class of drugs that decrease bone resorption by inhibiting osteoclasts, used in the treatment of osteoporosis, Paget's disease, bone metastases, and other conditions. Also called diphosphonate.




Any of a family of drugs with two phosphonate (PO3) groups, which inhibit enzymes that break down pyrophosphate. Bisphosphonates include etidronate and clodronate (first-generation agents), and pamidronate disodium (a second-generation bisphosphonate), which inhibits bone resorption at doses that do not affect bone mineralisation. Bisphosphonates are potent inhibitors of bone resorption that bind tightly to the hydroxyapatite crystals, and have therapeutic potential in osteoporosis and in advanced (stage-III) multiple myeloma and Paget’s disease of bone.

Treat and prevent osteoporosis, osteolysis due to metastatic breast and prostate cancer, multiple myeloma, Paget's disease of bone, fibrous dysplasia, Gaucher's disease, etc.

Adverse effect
Upset stomach, gastritis, oesophageal erosions; long-term effects include femoral fractures and an increased risk of oesophageal cancer.

Etidronate, clodronate, tiludronate.


A class of drugs used to treat Paget's disease. These drugs bind to the minerals in bone tissue and lessen the amount of bone loss associated with Paget's disease.


Member of a class of drugs used for treatment of osteoporosis; works by inhibiting osteoclast-mediate resorption of bone. bisphosphonate

bisphosphonate (bisfos´fənōt),

n brand names: Fosamax, Didrone;
drug class: two classes: the N-containing (atendronate) and non-N-containing (Etidronate);
action: used to inhibit bone resorption;
uses: prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, osteitis deformans (“Paget's disease of bone”), bone metastasis (with or without hypercalcemia), multiple myeloma and other conditions that feature bone fragility. Can rarely cause osteonecrosis of the jaw; this may be reason to postpone drug treatment until after dental treatment, as they remain bound to the bone for a prolonged period. Most cases occur in high-dose intravenous types used in cancer patients, but a small proportion happens in patients on oral types. Also called
diphosphonate. See also osteonecrosis, bisphosphonate-associated (BON).
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