What do alendronate tablets do?
ALENDRONATE (Fosamax(R)) reduces the amount of calcium lost from bones and increases the density of bones. It helps to prevent bone loss and fractures (broken bones) and to increase normal healthy bone production in patients with Paget's disease or postmenopausal osteoporosis.
What should my health care professional know before I take alendronate?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
• kidney disease
• low level of blood calcium
• stomach, intestinal, or esophageal problems
• problems swallowing
• vitamin D deficiency
• an unusual or allergic reaction to alendronate, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
• pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I take this medicine?
Take alendronate tablets by mouth in the morning, after you have risen for the day. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets with a full glass (6—8 fluid ounces) of plain water first thing in the morning. Do not take the tablets with mineral water, coffee, tea, or juice. Do not chew or suck the tablets. Do not eat or drink anything before you take your tablets and do not eat breakfast, drink, or take any other medicines for at least 30 minutes after taking alendronate. If you can wait for 2 hours before eating, your body will absorb even more of the medicine. After taking alendronate, remain sitting or standing upright (do not lie down) for at least 30 minutes and until after your first food of the day to avoid irritation of your throat. Do not take with vitamins with minerals, or antacids containing calcium, iron, magnesium, or aluminum. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.
Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, do not take it later in the day. Continue your normal schedule starting the next morning
What other medicines can interact with alendronate?
• antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen)
• calcium salts (such as calcium carbonate or Tums(R))
• iron salts (such as ferrous sulfate)
• magnesium salts (such as MagOx(R))
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking including non-prescription medicines. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These can affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What side effects might I notice from taking alendronate?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
• stomach pain
• pain or difficulty swallowing
Rare or uncommon:
• black or tarry stools
• skin rash, itching (hives)
• swelling of the lips, arms, legs, face, tongue, or throat
• allergic reactions such as hives, swelling of the face, lips or tongue
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
• diarrhea or constipation
• stomach gas or fullness
• changes in taste
• bone, muscle or joint pain
• rash, which may be made worse by prolonged exposure to sunlight