REVIEW Ibandronic acid is a potent bisphosphonate drug used in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. It may also be used to treat hypercalcemia (elevated blood calcium levels). The action of ibandronate on bone tissue is based partly on its affinity for hydroxyapatite, which is part of the mineral matrix of bone. Nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates such as ibrandronate appear to act as analogues of isoprenoid diphosphate lipids, thereby inhibiting farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP) synthase, an enzyme in the mevalonate pathway. Inhibition of this enzyme in osteoclasts prevents the biosynthesis of isoprenoid lipids (FPP and GGPP) that are essential for the post-translational farnesylation and geranylgeranylation of small GTPase signalling proteins. This activity inhibits osteoclast activity and reduces bone resorption and turnover. In postmenopausal women, it reduces the elevated rate of bone turnover, leading to, on average, a net gain in bone mass.
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