The Light and Dark Side of Bisphosphonates

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    • JIMI Eijiro
    • Division of Molecular Signaling and Biochemistry, Department of Bioscience, Kyushu Dental College
    • HIRAGA Toru
    • Department of Histology and Cell Biology, School of Dentistry, Matsumoto Dental University
    • URADE Masahiro
    • Department of Dentistry and Oral Surgery, Hyogo College of Medicine


Bisphosphonates are stable compounds of pyrophosphoric acid that inhibit hydroxyapatite formation. This class of chemical was first investigated in the 1960s for use in the treatment of disorders of bone metabolism. Bisphosphonates have been developed for clinical use since then, and, currently, the third, nitrogen-containing, generation of bisphosphonates is widely used for the treatment of various bone diseases, including osteoporosis and bone metastases in cancer. However, despite the therapeutic benefits, the emergence of bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (BRONJ) is a growing and significant problem in a subset of patients receiving these drugs. In this review, we introduce the benefits and risks of bisphosphonates, “the light and dark side” so to speak, to facilitate a full understanding of these compounds.


  • Journal of Oral Biosciences

    Journal of Oral Biosciences 51(4), 177-187, 2009-11-20

    Japanese Association for Oral Biology

References:  48

Cited by:  1


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