Antiresorptive medications

The group of antiresorptive medications are widely used in the long-term treatment of osteoporosis (brittle bones) and in the management of bone metastases.

The working principle of these medications is to interfere with the normal physiological bone remodelling process. This remodelling process can be viewed as composed of a resorption phase (where old/spent bone tissue is broken down and removed) and a formation phase (where new bone tissue is laid down). Antiresorptive medications reduce the activity levels in the resorption phase such that overall less bone tissue is resorbed and thus can help to strengthen bone.

There are two main groups of such antiresorptive medications:

It is unlikely that antiresorptive medications will be prescribed in a maxillofacial clinic. However, in a maxillofacial clinic the consequences of unwanted effects of these medications will be seen. Owing to the widespread treatment with antiresorptive medications, these drugs have become the most common cause of necrosis of the jaws, MRONJ (medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaws).