Upper gastrointestinal tolerability of alendronate sodium monohydrate 10 mg once daily in postmenopausal women: A 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, exploratory study Journal Articles uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • BACKGROUND: The dissolution profiles of generic oral bisphosphonate alendronate (ALN) sodium for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis differ by formulation, suggesting potential differences in the risk for upper gastrointestinal (GI) irritation. OBJECTIVE: This study compared the tolerability profile of ALN monohydrate with that of placebo, with a focus on upper GI irritation, in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. METHODS: This multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled estimation study enrolled postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. Patients were randomized in a 2:1 ratio to receive ALN monohydrate 10 mg or placebo once daily for 12 weeks. Tolerability was monitored throughout the study and up to 14 days after administration of the final dose. Primary end points were the proportions of patients with upper GI adverse events (AEs); upper GI AEs that were rated as serious or study drug related or that led to study discontinuation; and esophageal AEs. Between-treatment differences and associated 95% CIs were assessed using the Wilson score method. RESULTS: Of 438 patients who were randomized, 367 (mean age, 65.5 years; history of osteoporotic fracture, 6.8%; ALN monohydrate, 237; placebo, 130) completed the study. The proportion of patients with a history of upper GI disorders at baseline was numerically greater in the ALN monohydrate group than in the placebo group (117 [40.2%] and 45 [30.6%], respectively). The proportions of patients with active baseline upper GI disease were 83 (28.5%) and 30 (20.4%) in the ALN monohydrate and placebo groups, respectively. The proportions of patients who experienced an upper GI AE during the study period were 66 (22.7%) and 30 (20.4%) (95% CI, -6.2 to 10.0). The proportions of patients with upper GI AEs that were rated as serious or study drug related or that led to study discontinuation were 20.3% and 12.9% (95% CI, -0.3% to 14.1%). Three serious AEs in the active-treatment group (breast cancer, 2; wrist fracture, 1) were not considered related to the study drug, nor was the 1 serious AE in the placebo group (wrist fracture). One patient (ALN monohydrate) had an esophageal AE (nonserious spasm). Approximately 8% of patients who received ALN monohydrate reported dyspepsia, compared with none who received placebo. Within each treatment group, the rates of upper GI AEs were numerically higher in patients with a history of upper GI disease. CONCLUSIONS: In these postmenopausal women who received ALN monohydrate or placebo, upper GI AEs were common (20.4%-22.7%). The proportion of patients who experienced upper GI AEs considered drug related or that led to discontinuation was appar- ently greater with ALN monohydrate compared with placebo.


  • Adachi, Jonathan Derrick
  • Faraawi, Rafat Y
  • O’Mahony, Michael FJ
  • Nayar, Arun
  • Massaad, Rachid
  • Evans, Judith K
  • Yacik, Carol

publication date

  • August 2009