- The calcitonin derivative elcatonin (EL), given for 3 years, increases lumbar bone mineral density (BMD) but has no effect on incidence of vertebral fractures, according to a randomized controlled trial (RCT).
Why this matters
- Results may not be strong enough to warrant change in clinical practice in countries where elcatonin is available.
- Multicenter, double-blind RCT of EL (n=433; 20 units once-weekly intramuscularly for 144 weeks) vs placebo (n=436) in patients with osteoporosis and prior vertebral fracture(s).
- Primary outcome was incidence of new vertebral fractures at 24, 48, 72, 96, 120, and 144 weeks.
- Funding: Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation.
- There was no difference in incidence of vertebral fracture in EL vs placebo groups.
- EL group had higher percentage increase in lumbar BMD vs placebo at all points (all P<.05>
- At 144 weeks, EL group had higher percentage increase (± standard error) in lumbar BMD (2.13±0.59% vs −0.58±0.53% in the placebo group; P=.008).
- 16.2% of patients in the EL group and 12.4% of those in the placebo group did not have vertebral fracture at baseline, despite inclusion criteria.