1. Lee, Jennifer PharmD, BCPS


Bisphosphonates are synthetic analogs of naturally occurring pyrophosphates, and they inhibit osteoclast-mediated bone resorption. They are widely used for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, treatment of Paget's disease of bone, management of metastatic cancer in bone, and short-term management of acute hypercalcemia. Osteonecrosis of the jaw is an adverse drug effect of bisphosphonates, and it typically presents as infection and necrotic bone in the mandible or maxilla. This article discusses pharmacology of bisphosphonates and osteonecrosis of the jaw, including its contributing factors, pathophysiology, prevention, and management, as well as appropriate nursing interventions.