While findings are not yet enough to recommend bone strengthening drugs (such as risedronate) as possible cure for arthritis, John Hopkins rheumatologists revealed that such drugs may be helpful in providing simultaneous protection to elderly people’s joints.
According to Dr. Clifton Bingham, a Johns Hopkins rheumatologist:
“…he and his colleagues began to wonder if risedronate might be used to treat osteoarthritis after noticing that the drug, and other compounds in the same class of drugs, not only slowed joint damage in animals, but also reduced cartilage-irritating bone lesions in humans.
The blood tests revealed not only that risedronate stabilized bone loss, but also that it was most likely slowing the breakdown of cartilage, too.”
Risedronate (popular brand: Actonel®, produced and marketed by Procter & Gamble and Sanofi-aventis — is a bisphosphonate used to strengthen bone, treat or prevent osteoporosis, and treat Paget’s disease of the bone.
For two years, the researchers studied 2,483 arthritic men and women, from both the United States and Europe. All of them had a loss in the cartilage that cushions the knee joint, a hallmark symptom of osteoarthritis.
The participants were given either a placebo or risedronate at a range of doses, including the standard doses normally prescribed to treat bone loss.
The amount of cartilage detected in their knees was measured by X-ray analysis at the one and two-year marks. Blood tests were also used to check for a marker of cartilage breakdown known as CTX-II.
Although the researchers of the abovementioned study admitted that they are not recommending that everyone with arthritis run out and get a prescription of risedronate nor they are suggesting at this time that doctors use risedronate as an arthritis treatment, the potential of risedronate against osteoarthritis and joint health needs further investigation.