Comparative effects of raloxifene and alendronate on fracture outcomes in postmenopausal women with low bone mass

Robert R. Recker, David Kendler, Christopher P. Recknor, Theodore W. Rooney, E. Michael Lewiecki, Wulf H. Utian, Jane A. Cauley, Joanne Lorraine, Yongming Qu, Pandurang M. Kulkarni, Carol L. Gaich, Mayme Wong, Leo Plouffe, John L. Stock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The double-blind, randomized raloxifene alendronate comparison trial was the first study designed to compare two osteoporosis therapies head-to-head for fracture risk reduction. The original protocol planned to treat 3000 postmenopausal women with alendronate 10 mg/day (ALN) or raloxifene 60 mg/day (RLX) for 5 years, and to recruit women (50-80 years old) with a femoral neck bone mineral density (BMD) T-score between - 2.5 and - 4.0, inclusive, no prevalent vertebral fractures, and no prior bone-active agent use. The trial was stopped early, due to difficulty in finding treatment-naïve women to meet enrollment goals within the planned timeline, resulting in insufficient power to show non-inferiority between therapies in the primary endpoint (number of women with ≥ 1 new osteoporotic vertebral or nonvertebral fracture). Except for vertebral fractures, fracture analyses were based upon 1412 of the 1423 women randomized (mean age of 66 years). After 312 ± 254 days (mean ± SD), 22 women in the ALN group and 20 in the RLX group had new vertebral or nonvertebral fractures. Four women in the ALN group and none in the RLX group had moderate/severe vertebral fractures, a pre-specified endpoint (P = 0.04). Lumbar spine, femoral neck, and total hip BMD were increased from baseline at 2 years in each group (P <0.001), with greater increases in the ALN group (each P <0.05). Similar numbers of women in each group had ≥ 1 adverse event and discontinued due to an adverse event. The only adverse events with an incidence that differed between groups were colonoscopy, diarrhea, and nausea; each was more common with ALN treatment (each P <0.05). One woman in each group had a venous thromboembolic event. One case of breast cancer occurred in each group. In summary, as this trial was terminated early, there was insufficient power to compare the fracture risks between alendronate and raloxifene. Safety profiles were as expected from clinical trial and post-marketing reports. Trial Registration: Identifier NCT00035971.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)843-851
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Histology


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