Since effective prevention and treatment of osteoporosis demands a high degree of long-term compliance, optimization of the dosing regimen in terms of efficacy and convenience of drug intake is a critical issue of oral bisphosphonate treatment. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether the efficacy of the treatment with oral ibandronate, 2.5 mg daily, can be maintained if changing the postdose fast from 60 to 30 min. This was a 48-week, multicenter, open-label, randomized, parallel-group noninferiority study. Subjects were postmenopausal women 55-80 years old with lumbar spine (L1-L4) bone mineral density (BMD) corresponding to a T score < or =2.5. Women were randomly assigned to take 2.5 mg ibandronate exactly 30 or 60 min before breakfast. Lumbar spine and proximal femur (trochanter, femoral neck, total hip) BMD were measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry; serum osteocalcin and creatinine-corrected urinary C-telopeptide of type I collagen (u-CTX/Cr) excretion were measured by ELISA. After 48 weeks of treatment, the relative increase in lumbar spine BMD from baseline in the 30-min fast group was lower than that in the 60-min fast group (3.07% versus 4.95%, one-sided 97.5% CI = -2.89%) such that the prespecified noninferiority criteria were not met. The mean relative increases in BMD at the trochanter (3.04% versus 4.36%), femoral neck (1.82% versus 2.19%), and total hip (2.35% versus 3.21%) in the 30-min fast group were also lower than those in the 60-min fast group. Less suppression of the markers of bone turnover (u-CTX/Cr, -48.5% vs -61.8%; serum osteocalcin, -34.8% vs 43.8%) was observed in the 30-min compared with the 60-min group. In conclusion, if reducing the postdose fasting interval, dose-increase compensation would likely to be required to maintain efficacy of oral ibandronate treatment. Another potential solution for improving the convenience with bisphosphonate treatment is expected from weekly or monthly dosing regimens currently under clinical investigations.