What are the AACE recommendations for long-term bisphosphonate therapy for osteoporosis?

Updated: Jan 20, 2021
  • Author: Rachel Elizabeth Whitaker Elam, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

In 2016, the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research published guidelines on long-term bisphosphonate treatment that included the following recommendations [168] :

  • After 5 years of oral bisphosphonates or 3 years of intravenous bisphosphonates, reassessment of risk should be considered.
  • In women at high risk (eg, older women, those with a low hip T-score or high fracture risk score, those with previous major osteoporotic fracture, or those who fracture on therapy), continuation of treatment for up to 10 years (oral) or 6 years (intravenous), with periodic evaluation, should be considered.
  • The risk of atypical femoral fracture, but not ONJ, clearly increases with the duration of bisphosphonate therapy, but such rare events are outweighed by vertebral fracture risk reduction in high-risk patients.
  • For women not at high fracture risk, a drug holiday of 2 to 3 years can be considered after 3 to 5 years of bisphosphonate treatment.

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