Strontium ranelate--a promising therapeutic principle in osteoporosis.
ABSTRACT Strontium ranelate (2g/day) appears to be a safe and efficient treatment of osteoporosis (OP), reducing the risks of both vertebral and non-vertebral fractures (including hip) in a wide variety of patients. Thus, the agent can now be considered as a first-line option to treat women at risk of OP fractures, whatever their age and the severity of the disease. A long-term treatment with strontium ranelate in OP women leads to a continued increase in bone mineral density at spine and hip levels, and a sustained antifracture efficacy. The mode of action of strontium ranelate involves a dissociation between bone resorption and formation, as the bone formation rate is increased and not influenced by the antiresorptive action of the agent. Strontium is heterogeneously distributed in bone tissue: it is absent from old bone tissue and is exclusively present in bone formed during the treatment. Total area containing strontium in bone tissue increases during treatment, although the focal bone strontium content is constant. Whatever the duration of treatment and the content of strontium in bone, the degree of mineralization is maintained in a normal range. Furthermore, no change at crystal level is detected up to 3 years of treatment.