Treats or prevents osteoporosis (weak bones). Also treats Paget disease of the bone.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to alendronate, or if you have esophagus problems, trouble swallowing, or very low calcium in the blood (hypocalcemia). Do not use this medicine if you cannot stand or sit upright for at least 30 minutes after you take the medicine.
How to Use This Medicine
Liquid, Tablet, Fizzy Tablet
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- Follow your doctor's instructions if you need to take calcium and vitamin D supplements.
- This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one.
- If any of this medicine stays in your esophagus, it may cause serious damage. To lower the risk of this problem, use this medicine exactly as directed.
- Take this medicine as soon as you get out of bed in the morning, before you eat or drink anything (except water).
- Tablet: Swallow the tablet whole with a large glass (6 to 8 ounces) of plain water only (not mineral water, coffee, tea, soda, juice, or any other liquid). Do not chew or suck on the tablet.
- Oral liquid: Drink at least 2 ounces (1/4 cup) of plain water after you take the medicine.Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
- Effervescent (fizzy) tablet: Dissolve the effervescent tablet in 4 ounces of room temperature plain water only (not mineral water or flavored water). Wait at least 5 minutes after the bubbling stops, then stir the solution for 10 seconds and then drink it.
- Wait at least 30 minutes after you take this medicine before you eat or drink anything or take any other medicine. This will help your body absorb the medicine.
- Take this medicine while you are sitting or standing. Do not take it while you are in bed or at bedtime.
- Do not lie down for at least 30 minutes after you the medicine, and do not lie down until after you have eaten some food.
If a dose is missed:
- Once a day dose: If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine in the morning, take it the next morning after you remember. Do not take 2 tablets on the same day. Return to your regular schedule the following day.
- Once a week dose: If you miss a dose or forget to take your medicine in the morning, take it the next morning after you remember. Return to your regular schedule the following week.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Protect the effervescent tablet from moisture and do not remove from the blister pack until you are ready to use it. Do not freeze.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are using aspirin or products that contain aspirin, or any type of NSAID pain or arthritis medicine (such as diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, Celebrex®, Voltaren®).
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using medicine or receiving treatments that weaken your immune system, such as cancer treatment, radiation treatment, or steroids (such as dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, methylprednisolone, prednisolone, prednisone, Medrol®).
- Wait at least 30 minutes after you take alendronate before you take any other oral medicine, including aluminum, magnesium, iron, or calcium supplements and antacids (such as Maalox®, Mylanta®, Tums®).
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, stomach ulcers, heartburn, or any other stomach or bowel problems. Tell your doctor if you have a mineral imbalance or trouble absorbing minerals in your stomach (malabsorption syndrome). Also tell your doctor smoke or drink alcohol.
- This medicine may harm your throat and esophagus. Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have heartburn (either new or worse than usual), pain when swallowing, pain in the center of your chest, trouble swallowing, or a feeling that food gets stuck on the way to your stomach.
- Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine could cause jaw problems, especially if you have a tooth pulled or have other dental work. Tell your doctor or dentist if you have pain, swelling, or other problems in your mouth or jaw. Make sure your doctor knows about dental problems that you already have and if you wear dentures. Also tell your doctor if you have cancer, anemia, or blood clotting problems, because you could be more likely to develop jaw problems.
- This medicine could lower the amount of calcium in your blood. Call your doctor right away if you develop any signs of low calcium levels, such as muscle spasms or twitching, or numbness or tingling in your fingers, toes, or lips.
- This medicine may increase your risk of breaking a thigh bone. This may be more common if you use it for a long time. Check with your doctor right away if you have dull or aching pain in the thigh, groin, or hips.
- The effervescent tablet contains sodium. Tell your doctor if you are on a salt-restricted diet, or if you have a history of heart failure, high blood pressure, or other heart or blood vessel disease.
- Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash
- Chest pain, heartburn, or burning feeling in your throat
- Difficult or painful swallowing
- Heavy feeling in the jaw, loose teeth, or other teeth problems
- Muscle spasms, twitching, tingling, numbness
- Pain, swelling, or numbness in the mouth or jaw
- Severe bone, joint, or muscle pain
- Unusual or severe stomach pain
- Unusual pain in your thigh, groin, or hip
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Mild stomach pain