Chloro-4-phenyl thiomethylene bisphosphonate (tiludronate) is a new drug which can be used as an inhibitor of bone resorption. As it remains in bone for a long time, and as mineralisation defects have only been seen at doses much higher than those required to decrease osteoclastic activity, it could be given at high doses over a short period of time. Eighteen patients with Paget's disease of bone were randomly allocated to three therapeutic groups receiving respectively 600, 800, and 1200 mg/day tiludronate for five days. Serum alkaline phosphatase activity and the urinary hydroxyproline/creatinine ratio were quickly and drastically reduced in all three groups. A significant reduction of serum alkaline phosphatases and the hydroxyproline/creatinine ratio was still present six months after the five day therapeutic course, reflecting a sustained activity of tiludronate even after stopping treatment. Dose dependent short and long term reductions of bone turnover rate were observed. Biochemical assessment of haematological, renal, or hepatic tolerance did not show any toxicity of tiludronate. Fifty per cent of patients treated by a dose of 1200 mg/day reported gastrointestinal disturbances, however, making this dosage unsuitable for clinical practice.
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