Background : Both oral bisphosphonates and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have the potential to irritate the upper gastrointestinal mucosa, and are frequently used by the same patient population.
Aim : To determine the rate of upper gastrointestinal adverse events with once weekly alendronate 70 mg and concomitant non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use.
Methods : A post hoc analysis was performed on 222 patients who received both medications concomitantly during a 3-month placebo-controlled study. A total of 450 (224 alendronate; 226 placebo) postmenopausal women and men with osteoporosis were randomized. Concomitant non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug users were defined as patients who received ≥7 continuous days of any dose of a dual cyclo-oxygenase-1 and cyclo-oxygenase-2 inhibiting non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, a selective cyclo-oxygenase-2 inhibitor, or aspirin. A survival analysis was performed, and significance assessed. Logistic regression was used to assess consistency of treatment effect on rate of upper gastrointestinal adverse events across non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug subgroups.
Results : Similar percentages of alendronate (52.7%) and placebo (46.0%) patients used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs regularly. Among concomitant non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug users, 11 alendronate and 11 placebo patients experienced upper gastrointestinal adverse events (9.3% and 10.8%, respectively, P = 0.744). Logistic regression revealed no significant interaction (P = 0.722) between alendronate and concomitant non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use.
Conclusion : Based on this subgroup analysis, once weekly alendronate 70 mg used concomitantly with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, did not increase upper gastrointestinal adverse events relative to placebo over 3-months.