Treatment of bone disorders with parathyroid hormone: Success and pitfalls
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Bone diseases such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, bone tumours and bone fractures are rather common and not just in the elderly. Parathyroid hormone (PTH) is responsible for maintaining calcium homeostasis, increasing bone mineral density (BMD), increasing cortical and trabecular bone thickness and thus increasing bone strength. Teriparatide (PTH 1-34) has the same effects as endogenous PTH and is pharmacologically used to treat bone diseases such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, bone fractures and bone tumours. This review discusses how PTH 1-34 plays a role in managing bone diseases. Clinical studies have shown that short or intermittent dosing of PTH 1-34 has minimal adverse effects, while long-term dosing (over two years) has been linked to de novo osteoarthritis and bone deformation. Currently PTH therapy is only approved in the treatment of post-menopausal osteoporosis, however it is also proven to have effects in treating osteoarthritis, bone tumours and bone fractures. If the patient undergoing therapy is closely monitored, the major pitfalls are very unlikely to take place, thus it is highly recommended that patients be closely monitored by a medical practitioner.
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