Special Note: Merck has discontinued work on this drug because of increased risk of cardiovascular events in users. See: Merck Discontinues #link_2963086 or cut and past this url into your browser: http://www.nature.com/nrd/journal/v15/n10/full/nrd.2016.207.html
I wish to thank Ms Fiona Dawson who sent me notice of this development.
Odanacatib is a new drug for increasing bone density from Merck. Merck's Osteoporosis drug is different from most of the other bone building pharmaceutical drugs in that it both slows the work of osteoclasts cells so they do not remove as much 'old bone' as they might AND at the same time, also stimulates osteoblasts to build new bone. The results? "In that Phase II trial, Odanactib significantly increased bone mineral density over a two-year period in patients previously treated with alendronate;" But do see the notice above that as time went on Merck discontinued work on this drug because of its serious side effects.
With the added feature of stimulating bone building,
it may be that this drug will not lead to the 'spontaneous fractures'
associated with many of the bisphosphonate drugs which only increase
bone density by slowing the removal of 'old bone".
As early as 2008, Merck was publishing positive effects of this new drug. At the 30th Annual Meeting of the American Society
for Bone and Mineral Research. Merck stated: that this drug "demonstrated dose-dependent increases in bone mineral
density (BMD) at the total hip, lumbar spine and femoral neck fracture sites and decreased indices of bone resorption
compared to placebo in postmenopausal women with low BMD."
For those wanting the technical aspects of the drug: It "selectively inhibits the cathepsin K enzyme believed to play a central role in osteoclastic bone resorption, particularly in the degradation of the protein component of bone. Inhibition of cathepsin K is a novel approach to the treatment of osteoporosis that differs from those of currently approved treatments." (Business Wire, Sept. 2008)
Dosage. Odanacatib is taken only once a week and in trials the 50mg dose was found effective.
Side effects. Because of the serious side effects of a number of Osteoporosis drugs, many potential users of this drug will want to
understand the possible side effects before agreeing to using it.
The press release posted by PRWeb on November 6, 2012 stated that side effects include: urinary tract infection, back pain, arthralgia (joint pain), bronchitis, and upper respiratory tract infection. But apparantly these side effects were not widespread. Only 9% of those in the trial left it because of side effects. (3% of those in the control group, who did not receive the drug, left the study because of side effects.)
Now, because this is a new drug, I do not know where (in what countries) it is being used. If you are intereted, I suggest
that you ask your health care provider about it.
Some Research articles about this drug can be found at:
3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3135105/ (See the section about: Cathepsin K inhibitors)
If you have used this drug or want to add any information about it, use the form below. Thanks
Click here Osteoporosis drugs other than Odanacatib.
Do you have experience with this? Please share it!