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Clinical interventions in aging

Alendronate sodium hydrate (oral jelly) for the treatment of osteoporosis: review of a novel, easy to swallow formulation.


PMID 23766643

Abstract

Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder characterized by loss of bone mass, decreased bone strength, and an increased risk of bone fracture. The disease progresses with age, especially in postmenopausal women. Japan is one of the most rapidly aging societies worldwide. Japanese individuals over 65 years of age constituted 23.0% of the population in 2010 and 25.1% to 25.2% as of 2013. The estimated number of people with osteoporosis in Japan is currently 13 million. Bisphosphonates increase bone mineral density by inhibiting osteoclast-mediated bone resorption, thereby reducing the risk of fractures. Alendronate sodium hydrate (alendronate) is a bisphosphonate that potently inhibits bone resorption and is used to treat osteoporosis. Sufficient water is required to take an alendronate oral tablet; insufficient water could result in digestive system diseases, such as esophageal ulceration. Elderly patients with swallowing difficulty may choke on the tablet. Taking a tablet with oral jelly is a method to prevent digestive system disease and reduce the choking hazard. Once-weekly alendronate oral jelly was approved in 2012 by the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare of Japan as the world's first drug for osteoporosis in a jelly formulation. It consists of a jelly portion and an air portion. The jelly formulation is smoothly discharged by pushing the air portion. Therefore, elderly patients with physical disabilities are able to easily take all of the jelly formulation from the package. In this review, this new formulation of alendronate sodium hydrate (oral jelly) is introduced and discussed in terms of osteoporosis treatment. This new formulation provides an alternative so that patients may select a method of dosing tailored to their preferences. Management of osteoporosis involves assessing fracture risk and preventing fractures. Higher adherence to the treatment of patients with osteoporosis and prevention of osteoporotic fractures are issues to be resolved.

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