Risedronate is indicated for the prevention and treatment of specific forms of bone loss (osteoporosis) in the adult population. Osteoporosis is a condition that leads to a reduction in bone density and increased susceptibility to fractures. This medication operates by impeding bone loss, thereby contributing to the maintenance of healthy bones and lowering the probability of bone fractures. Risedronate is a member of the bisphosphonate drug class.
Uses and Dosage
Risedronate is available in tablet and delayed-release tablet formulations for oral administration. The delayed-release tablets are typically taken once weekly in the morning, immediately following breakfast. Depending on your medical condition and the dosage prescribed by your physician, the tablets are taken on an empty stomach once daily in the morning, once weekly in the morning, once monthly in the morning, or once monthly for two consecutive mornings.
Take risedronate precisely as prescribed, avoiding the temptation to take more or less of it or use it more frequently or for a longer duration than directed by your physician.
Failure to comply with the dosing instructions can impair the efficacy of risedronate and damage the esophagus or cause mouth ulcers. Inform your doctor if you have difficulty comprehending or recalling the dosing guidelines or if you are unable to adhere to them. The following instructions must be observed:
- Risedronate tablets should be ingested immediately after getting out of bed in the morning, before consuming any food or beverages. Risedronate delayed-release tablets should be taken immediately after breakfast. Refrain from taking risedronate before going to bed or before getting up for the day.
- Swallow the tablets whole with a full glass (6 to 8 ounces [180 to 240 mL]) of plain water while standing or sitting upright. Swallow the delayed-release tablets with at least 4 ounces (120 mL) of plain water while standing or sitting upright. Do not take risedronate with tea, coffee, juice, mineral water, milk, dairy drinks, or any liquid other than plain water.
- Do not split, chew, or crush the tablets or delayed-release tablets. Do not hold the tablets in your mouth or suck on them for any length of time.
- Do not eat, drink, or take any other medications for at least 30 minutes after taking risedronate. Avoid lying down for at least 30 minutes after ingestion. Remain seated or standing upright until at least 30 minutes have elapsed.
Risedronate is useful for managing osteoporosis and Paget’s disease of bone, but it does not cure these ailments. Risedronate aids in the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis only if taken consistently. Continue taking risedronate even if you feel well. Do not discontinue risedronate without consulting your physician, but consult with your doctor periodically to determine whether risedronate is still necessary.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- dry mouth
- stomach pain
- leg cramps
- back pain
- frequent or urgent need to urinate
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- difficulty swallowing or pain when swallowing
- new or worsening heartburn
- chest pain
- blisters on skin
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- difficulty breathing
- muscle spasms, twitching, or cramps
- numbness or tingling around mouth or in hands or feet
- swollen, red, or painful eyes
- sensitivity to light
- painful or swollen gums
- loosening of the teeth
- numbness or heavy feeling in the jaw
- poor healing of the jaw
- dull, aching pain in the hips, groin, or thighs
Prior to initiating risedronate therapy, inform your physician or pharmacist of any allergies you may have, particularly to risedronate or other bisphosphonates such as alendronate, or any other allergies you have. This product may contain inactive ingredients that can trigger allergic reactions or other complications.
Before using this medication, inform your physician or pharmacist about your medical history, particularly if you have had any esophagus issues such as heartburn, narrowing of the esophagus, or achalasia; difficulties or painful swallowing; low calcium levels in your blood (hypocalcemia); the inability to sit upright or stand for at least 30 minutes; stomach/intestinal disorders such as ulcers; or severe kidney disease.
Certain individuals who use risedronate may develop severe jawbone issues. Before beginning this medication, your physician should examine your mouth. Inform your dentist that you are taking this medication before undergoing any dental work. To help avoid jawbone complications, maintain regular dental checkups and learn how to maintain healthy teeth and gums. If you experience jaw pain, inform your doctor and dentist right away.
Prior to any surgery, particularly dental procedures, inform your physician and dentist of your use of this medication and all other medications you are using, including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products. Your doctor or dentist may advise you to discontinue risedronate prior to surgery.
If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, exercise caution while using this medication. This medication may remain in your body for several years, and its effects on an unborn baby are unknown. Prior to beginning treatment with risedronate, discuss the risks and benefits with your physician.
It is uncertain whether this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your physician prior to breastfeeding while taking this medication.
Form and Strength
Actonel is available in the following forms and strengths:
How long should you take Actonel for osteoporosis?
Bisphosphonates are typically taken for at least 3 to 5 years. After that, your doctor will consider your risk factors in determining whether you should continue to take these or other osteoporosis medications.
Does Actonel improve bone density?
Actonel decreases the rate bone cells are absorbed. This reduced absorption allows the body to increase bone density, which in turn reduces the risk of fracture.