Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Bisphosphonates for early complex regional pain syndrome

Neridronate, an aminobisphosphonate, has shown promise in reducing the often extreme and intransigent pain of complex regional pain syndrome. Welcomed clinically, what can this finding tell us about the enigmatic mechanisms of bisphosphonates and of complex regional pain syndrome alike?

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Clinical signs of CRPS.


  1. Goebel, A. Complex regional pain syndrome in adults. Rheumatology (Oxford) 50, 1739–1750 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Varenna, M. et al. Treatment of complex regional pain syndrome type I with neridronate: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Rheumatology (Oxford)

  3. Harden, R. N. et al. Validation of proposed diagnostic criteria (the “Budapest Criteria”) for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. Pain 150, 268–274 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Marinus, J. et al. Clinical features and pathophysiology of complex regional pain syndrome. Lancet Neurol. 10, 637–648 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Swart, C. M., Stins, J. F. & Beek, P. J. Cortical changes in complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Eur. J. Pain 13, 902–907 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Birklein, F. & Schmelz, M. Neuropeptides, neurogenic inflammation and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Neurosci. Lett. 437, 199–202 (2008).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Yanow, J., Pappagallo, M. & Pillai, L. Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS/RSD) and neuropathic pain: role of intravenous bisphosphonates as analgesics. ScientificWorldJournal 8, 229–236 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Costa, L. & Major, P. P. Effect of bisphosphonates on pain and quality of life in patients with bone metastases. Nat. Clin. Pract. Oncol. 6, 163–174 (2009).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Brunner, F., Schmid, A., Kissling, R., Held, U. & Bachmann, L. M. Biphosphonates for the therapy of complex regional pain syndrome I —systematic review. Eur. J. Pain. 13, 17–21 (2009).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Schott, G. D. Bisphosphonates for pain relief in reflex sympathetic dystrophy? Lancet 350, 1117 (1997).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing financial interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Littlejohn, G. Bisphosphonates for early complex regional pain syndrome. Nat Rev Rheumatol 9, 199–200 (2013).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing