Alendronate is a nitrogen-containing, second generation bisphosphonate. Bisphosphonates were first used to treat Paget’s disease in 1971. This class of medications is comprised of inorganic pyrophosphate analogues that contain non-hydrolyzable P-C-P bonds. Similar to other bisphosphonates, alendronate has a high affinity for bone mineral and is taken up during osteoclast resorption. Alendronate inhibits farnesyl pyrophosphate synthetase, one of the enzymes in the mevalonic acid pathway involved in producing isoprenoid compounds that are essential for post-translational modification of small guanosine triphosphate (GTP)-binding proteins, such as Rho, Ras and Rab. Inhibition of this process interferes with osteoclast function and survival. Alendronate is used for the treatment of osteoporosis and Paget’s disease.
For the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis in women and Paget's disease of bone in both men and women.
Alendronate, a second-generation bisphosphonate is the first member of a group of drugs which strengthens bone. Alendronate is used to reduce hypercalcemia in tumor-induced bone disease, to treat corticosteroid-induced osteoporosis and Paget's disease, and to prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.
Mechanism of action
The action of Alendronate on bone tissue is based partly on its affinity for hydroxyapatite, which is part of the mineral matrix of bone. Alendronate also targets farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP) synthase. Nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates (such as pamidronate, alendronate, risedronate, ibandronate and zoledronate) appear to act as analogues of isoprenoid diphosphate lipids, thereby inhibiting FPP synthase, an enzyme in the mevalonate pathway. Inhibition of this enzyme in osteoclasts prevents the biosynthesis of isoprenoid lipids (FPP and GGPP) that are essential for the post-translational farnesylation and geranylgeranylation of small GTPase signalling proteins. This activity inhibits osteoclast activity and reduces bone resorption and turnover. In postmenopausal women, it reduces the elevated rate of bone turnover, leading to, on average, a net gain in bone mass.