Bisphosphonate Uses

Bisphosphonates are agents used to prevent bone damage and are beneficial in the treatment of several diseases that affect the bones.

Some of the uses of bisphosphonates include:

Paget’s disease

Examples of bisphosphonates that are used to suppress bone turnover in Paget’s disease include etidronate, clodronate, pamidronate, alendronate, risedronate and zoledronate. The two most commonly prescribed agents are alendronate and risedronate.

Cancer involving the bone

Bisphosphonates are very effective in the treatment of secondary cancer, cancer that has spread to the bones from elsewhere in the body. Cancer affecting the bones usually leads to increased bone destruction and high levels of blood calcium. The bones become fragile and prone to fracture, even on minor trauma. Examples of bisphosphonates that have been used for treating secondary cancer of the bone include zoledronate, clodronate, ibandronate, and pamidronate.


Osteoporosis is a condition that renders the bones brittle, fragile and prone to breakage. Osteoporosis is one of the more recent indications for bisphosphonate therapy. Etidronate was the first bisphosphonate approved to treat the condition, followed by alendronate, risedronate, ibandronate and zoledronate. These agents have been shown to increase bone mass and reduce spinal fracture risk by 30% to 70% in postmenopausal women. The long-term use (5–10 years) of bisphosphonates as a treatment for osteoporosis appears to be safe.

Osteogenesis imperfecta

Bisphosphonates may also be useful in “brittle bone” disorder or osteogenesis imperfecta. Palmidronate, in particular, has proved to be an effective treatment for this condition.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Jun 17, 2023

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2023, June 17). Bisphosphonate Uses. News-Medical. Retrieved on June 25, 2024 from

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "Bisphosphonate Uses". News-Medical. 25 June 2024. <>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "Bisphosphonate Uses". News-Medical. (accessed June 25, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2023. Bisphosphonate Uses. News-Medical, viewed 25 June 2024,


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.