Effects of bisphosphonates on lipid metabolism.

OBJECTIVES: Bisphosphonates are widely used for the treatment of metabolic bone disorders and their effects on lipid metabolism have also been investigated. Some studies reported that bisphosphonates have beneficial effects on serum cholesterol levels. In this study we aimed to assess the effects of bisphosphonates on lipid levels in hyperlipidemic patients who received bisphosphonates because of osteoporosis.

METHODS: 49 female patients (age: 54.2+/-7.2 years) with diagnosis of osteoporosis and hyperlipidemia were enrolled. Patients received alendronate 10 mg/day and they were followed up for 6 months. Pretreatment total cholesterol, triglyceride, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, apolipoprotein A1 and apolipoprotein B levels were measured and compared with post-treatment levels.

RESULTS: Pretreatment and post-treatment levels of total cholesterol were 255.2+/-34.3; 233.02+/-37.0 mg/dL, triglyceride levels were 153.0+/-57.3; 129.1+/-54.4 mg/dL, and LDL levels were 170.7+/-30.5; 160.0+/-34.2 mg/dL, respectively. Reductions in total cholesterol, triglyceride and LDL-cholesterol levels were statistically significant; whereas differences in HDL-cholesterol, apolipoprotein-A1 and apolipoprotein-B levels were not significant.

CONCLUSIONS: Data from our study suggest that alendronate therapy may have beneficial effects on lipid metabolism. Thus, when hyperlipidemia is detected in patients receiving bisphosphonates, it is considered reasonable to follow the patient for a while before initiating antihyperlipidemic agent to prevent unnecessary use of drugs.

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