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Osteoporosis: Teriparatide, the drug that forms new bone

Teriparatide is an injectable drug for the treatment of severe osteoporosis, a condition in which the loss of minerals causes bones to become brittle and break easily.

teriparatide improved bone strength by stimulating new bone formation. This is done by increasing the activity of bone-forming cells called osteoblasts.

Other first-line treatments, most common for osteoporosis aim to preserve bone strength and inhibit the activity of osteoclasts -. Resorb bone cells to bone tissue of age during the healing process

Conversely, teriparatide stimulates bone formation by mimicking the action of parathyroid hormone (PTH) on bone cells.

We have long known that PTH can stimulate bone formation. However, when PTH levels are chronically elevated, bone resorption is stimulated even more, resulting in bone loss.

A key discovery in 2001 was that daily injections of teriparatide below the skin caused peak short duration of PTH (1-34) levels. This peak stimulated bone formation due to the activation of pre-existing osteoblasts and recruitment of new osteoblasts, instead of increasing the activity of osteoclasts.

Therapuetic Product Management Australia (TGA) approved teriparatide in 2003.

Author: Peter Robert Ebeling, Head of the Department of Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences; Professor of Medicine at the University of Monash

Courtesy: The Conversation

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