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Teriparatide is a safe and effective anabolic treatment for osteoporosis. In postmenopausal women, it increases BMD and decreases vertebral fractures by about 70% and non-vertebral fractures by about 45% (although there is no evidence that it prevents hip fractures). The current evidence indicates that it should be administered for a single course of 24 months, and followed with an anti-resorptive agent to maintain the BMD gain. There is no clear benefit to repeated or cyclical treatment. Combination treatment, particularly with denosumab achieves greater BMD increase than either agent alone, but there are no available fracture data for combination treatment. There are some unknowns; most fundamentally why daily PTH administration is anabolic to bone when continuous high PTH is catabolic. Also, a better understanding of why the anabolic action declines with time and why there is a poor response to repeated treatment may help us to use teriparatide more effectively, and increase our understanding of bone biology and osteoporosis pathophysiology.
PMID: 29263728 [PubMed]