The clinical profile of ibandronate as add-on to calcitriol and calcium was studied in this double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 129 renal transplant recipients with early stable renal function (≤ 28 days posttransplantation, GFR a 30 mL/min). Patients were randomized to receive i.v. ibandronate 3 mg or i.v. placebo every 3 months for 12 months on top of oral calcitriol 0.25 mcg/day and calcium 500 mg b.i.d. At baseline, 10 weeks and 12 months bone mineral density (BMD) and biochemical markers of bone turnover were measured. The primary endpoint, relative change in BMD for the lumbar spine from baseline to 12 months was not different, +1.5% for ibandronate versus +0.5% for placebo (p = 0.28). Ibandronate demonstrated a significant improvement of BMD in total femur, +1.3% versus -0.5% (p = 0.01) and in the ultradistal radius, +0.6% versus -1.9% (p = 0.039). Bone formation markers were reduced by ibandronate, whereas the bone resorption marker, NTX, was reduced in both groups. Calcium and calcitriol supplementation alone showed an excellent efficacy and safety profile, virtually maintaining BMD without any loss over 12 months after renal transplantation, whereas adding ibandronate significantly improved BMD in total femur and ultradistal radius, and also suppressed biomarkers of bone turnover. Ibandronate was also well tolerated. © Copyright 2012 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.