Current opinion in rheumatology vol:18 Suppl 1 pages:S21-7
Patients with osteoporosis need a safe and effective treatment that reduces the risk of vertebral and non-vertebral fractures, leading to clinical benefits such as reduced back pain and height loss. Strontium ranelate corrects bone turnover, producing a more physiological state. Double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in postmenopausal osteoporosis show it to be effective in reducing vertebral and non-vertebral fracture risks. Treatment efficacy has been documented across a wide range of patient profiles, and appears to be independent of all the major determinants of fracture risk, including the severity of the disease at baseline, the number of prevalent fractures, and the age of the patient. This antifracture efficacy translates into clinical benefits, such as a 20% reduction in the rate of height loss and a 29% increase in the number of patients free of back pain. The effect of treatment with strontium ranelate on well-being has been assessed using the Quality-of-Life Questionnaire in Osteoporosis, which is a supplement to the 36-question Short-Form Health Survey. Treatment with strontium ranelate had a significant beneficial effect on the emotional, physical, and global Quality-of-Life Questionnaire in Osteoporosis scores compared with placebo. The rates of compliance with treatment were over 80% in phase III studies, reflecting the tolerability and safety profile and the ease of administration of this agent. Together with the antifracture data, the clinical benefits and quality of life data endorse the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis with strontium ranelate.