Alendronate sodium (brand names – Binosto, Fosamax) is an FDA-approved treatment for osteoporosis or weakening of bone.
It is used in women after the end of menstrual cycle. It decreases the likelihood of hip or spinal fracture. People taking corticosteroids need alendronate to prevent side effects on bone. It should not be used in children.
Alendronate works by preventing bone breakdown and increasing the thickness of bone. It is also used for treating Paget’s disease.
Let us walk you through the key things you need to know about alendronate.
How should I take alendronate sodium or Fosamax?
Take alendronate tablet by mouth on an empty stomach and with water. Swallow the tablets whole with water; do not split, chew, or crush them. You should take it at least half an hour before eating any food in morning. Take alendronate sodium tablets while you are sitting or standing.
Do not chew or suck on the table and take it only with water. You should not lie down for at least half an hour before or after taking the tablet.
Take it as prescribed by your doctor. Do not stop taking alendronate or Fosamax without talking to your doctor. Take vitamin C and calcium as your doctor prescribes. You can help them by tracking your side effects in Ankr.
What are the side effects of alendronate or Fosamax ?
Common side effects
- ulcers, inflammation, or irritation in food pipe
- appetite loss
- muscle spasms
- muscle twitches
- muscle cramps
- numbness or tingling in fingers, toes, or around mouth
- muscle pain
- joint pain
- belly ache
- swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat
Serious side effects
- chest pain
- severe heartburn
- difficulty in swallowing
- low calcium level in blood
- weakening of jaw bone
- bone fracture
- severe hip and thigh pain
- groin pain where the inside of the upper thigh and abdomen come together
- worsening of asthma
- shortness of breath
Alendronate may cause other side effects. You or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
Use the free Ankr platform or Ankr app to track your symptoms.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking alendornate or Fosamax
- tell your doctor about your allergies
- tell your doctor about other intakes
- tell your doctor about any other disease or symptom in the past or now
- tell your doctor if you cannot stand or sit upright for atleast 30 minutes
While You are on alendronate or Fosamax
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant. Harm to fetus is still unknown.
- tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Harm to baby is still unknown.
I forgot a dose. What should I do?
Skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
In case of an emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
How do I store and dispose of alendronate sodium tablets?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature (20-25 degree C or 68 to 77 degree F) and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
Do not flush unneeded medication down the toilet. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Revised: 02/28/2018, FDA updated- 03/15/2012, SG
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