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Drugs that inhibit bone resorption ('anti-resorptives') continue to dominate the therapy of bone diseases characterized by enhanced bone destruction, including Paget's disease, osteoporosis and cancers. The historic use of oestrogens for osteoporosis led on to SERMs (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators, e.g. raloxifene and bazedoxifene). Currently the mainstay of treatment worldwide is still with bisphosphonates, as used clinically for over 40 years. The more recently introduced anti-RANK-ligand antibody, denosumab, is also very effective in reducing vertebral, non-vertebral and hip fractures. Odanacatib is the only cathepsin K inhibitor likely to be registered for clinical use. The pharmacological basis for the action of each of these drug classes is different, enabling choices to be made to ensure their optimal use in clinical practice.

Original publication




Journal article


Curr opin pharmacol

Publication Date





115 - 130


Animals, Biphenyl Compounds, Bone Density Conservation Agents, Bone Diseases, Bone Resorption, Denosumab, Diphosphonates, Humans, Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators