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Summary: In women with osteoporosis treated with alendronate for > 12 months and oral bisphosphonates for > 3 of the last 4 years, switching to MK-5442, a calcium receptor antagonist, stimulated endogenous parathyroid hormone (PTH) secretion and increased bone turnover marker levels, but produced a decline in bone mineral density (BMD) at all sites. Introduction: This study assessed the effects of switching from long-term oral bisphosphonate therapy to the calcium-sensing receptor antagonist MK-5442 on BMD and bone turnover markers (BTMs) in post-menopausal women with osteoporosis. Methods: This randomized, active and placebo-controlled, dose-ranging study enrolled 526 postmenopausal women, who had taken alendronate (ALN) for ≥12 months preceding the trial and any oral bisphosphonate for ≥3 of the preceding 4 years and had spine or hip BMD T-scores ≤−2.5 or ≤−1.5 with ≥1 prior fragility fracture. Women were randomized to continue ALN 70 mg weekly or switch to MK-5442 (5, 7.5, 10, or 15 mg daily) or placebo. Results: Switching from ALN to MK-5442 produced a dose-dependent parathyroid hormone (PTH) pulse of threefold to sixfold above baseline at 1 h, with PTH levels that remained twofold to threefold above baseline at 4 h and returned to baseline by 24 h. Switching to MK-5442 or placebo increased BTM levels compared to baseline within 3 months and MK-5442 10 mg increased BTM levels compared to placebo by 6 months. With all MK-5442 doses and placebo, spine and hip BMD declined from baseline, and at 12 months, BMD levels were below those who continued ALN (all groups P  <  0.05 vs ALN). There was also a dose-dependent increase in the incidence of hypercalcemia with MK-5442. Conclusion: Switching from ALN to MK-5442 resulted in a pulsatile increase in PTH and increases in BTMs, but a decline in BMD compared with continued ALN. MK-5442 is not a viable option for the treatment of osteoporosis.


Institute for Health and Ageing

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Journal Article

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