Alendronate falls under the category of bisphosphonate medications and is utilized to manage and avert osteoporosis in women who have reached menopause and men. It is also prescribed to individuals who are taking corticosteroids, which can lead to osteoporosis in certain patients. Alendronate is also effective in treating Paget’s disease of the bone, a condition characterized by soft, weakened, and often deformed bones that may be painful or susceptible to fractures. This medication functions by impeding bone degradation and enhancing bone density.
Uses and Dosage
Prior to taking alendronate, thoroughly read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist. Follow the instructions carefully to ensure maximum absorption of the drug and to reduce the risk of injury to your esophagus.
Alendronate should be taken orally once a day, after waking up and prior to consuming any food, beverage, or other medication. Take the tablet with a full glass (6-8 ounces or 180-240 milliliters) of water, without crushing or chewing it. Remain in an upright position (sitting, standing, or walking) for at least 30 minutes and refrain from lying down until after your first meal of the day.
Take alendronate on an empty stomach as it will not work if consumed with food. Wait for a minimum of 30 minutes (preferably 1 to 2 hours) after ingesting the medication before consuming anything besides plain water.
Avoid taking this medication before bedtime or immediately upon rising in the morning, as it may not be absorbed properly and could result in unwanted side effects.
Intake of calcium or iron supplements, vitamins, antacids, coffee, tea, soda, mineral water, calcium-enriched juices, and food can reduce the absorption of alendronate. Avoid consuming these items for at least 30 minutes (preferably 1 to 2 hours) after taking alendronate.
To derive the maximum benefits from alendronate, take it regularly at the same time every morning. Discuss the potential risks and benefits of prolonged use of this medication with your doctor.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- stomach pain
- bloating or fullness in the stomach
- change in ability to taste food
- swelling of the joints, hands, or legs
- muscle spasms, twitches, or cramps
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- new or worsening heartburn
- difficulty swallowing
- pain on swallowing
- chest pain
- bloody vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
- black, tarry, or bloody stools
- blisters or peeling skin
- rash (may be made worse by sunlight)
- swelling of eyes, face, lips, tongue, or throat
- difficulty breathing
- painful or swollen gums
- loosening of the teeth
- numbness or heavy feeling in the jaw
- poor healing of the jaw
- eye pain
- dull, aching pain in the hips, groin, or thighs
Before initiating alendronate treatment, inform your doctor or pharmacist of any allergies you may have, including to alendronate, other bisphosphonates, or any other substances. This product may include inactive ingredients that could cause allergic reactions or other adverse effects.
Inform your doctor or pharmacist of your medical history before using this medication, particularly if you have any esophageal disorders, difficulty swallowing, difficulty sitting or standing upright for at least 30 minutes, low calcium levels, kidney problems, or stomach/intestinal disorders (such as ulcers).
Serious jawbone problems may occur in some individuals who take alendronate. Your doctor should examine your mouth prior to initiating treatment. Inform your dentist that you are taking this medication prior to any dental procedures. To prevent jawbone issues, undergo regular dental exams and learn how to maintain good oral health. If you experience jaw pain, inform your doctor and dentist immediately.
Alendronate is not recommended for use in children. Studies indicate that several children who took this medication experienced severe side effects, such as vomiting, fever, and flu-like symptoms.
If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, use caution when taking this medication. Alendronate may remain in your system for several years, and its effects on an unborn child are unknown. Before beginning alendronate treatment, discuss the potential risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unclear whether this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before nursing while taking alendronate.
Form and Strength
Fosamax is available in the following forms and strengths:
Why can’t you drink coffee after taking Fosamax?
Mineral water and other drinks, including fruit juices, coffee and tea, will reduce the effect of Fosamax by interfering with the absorption into the body.
Does Fosamax make you tired?
Fosamax oral tablet doesn’t cause drowsiness.