Alendronate is a medicine called a bisphosphonate that depresses the activity of cells which tend to break bones. The medicine is used to treat Paget’s disease of bone (accelerated remodeling of bones causing pain and bone weakness), osteoporosis (bone loss, thinning of the bones) in men and women after menopause. This condition may be also caused by glucocorticoid treatment and then the medicine may be prescribed as well. Other reasons for osteoporosis may be aging, menopause, the use of corticosteroid medicines for a long time.
Alendronate comes as a tablet and a solution taken orally once a day (in the morning) with a glass of still water on an empty stomach. Food and drinks, vitamins and antacids may be taken only half an hour after you’ve taken a tablet as they may influence the absorption of the medicine. After having a dose try not to lie down for some time as this will help to avoid irritation of esophagus.
The doses vary depending on the health state of the patient and the condition treated:
Osteoporosis: 10 mg a day
Osteoporosis in women after menopause: 5 mg a day
Paget’s disease of bone: 40 mg a day during 6 months
Tablets are to be swallowed as whole but not to be either chewed or crushed.
Liquid is taken once a week (70 mg).
1 Follow your doctor’s directions when using the medicine.
2 Tell the doctor about any allergies that you have.
3 Make sure the doctor knows if you are pregnant or you are planning to have a baby. The medicine may cause inborn defects in the baby.
4 The medicine is not recommended during lactation period.
5 Inform the doctor about any medicines you are taking at the moment including
Steroids taken orally
Vitamins, supplements, products on herbs
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines
6 Alendronate controls the conditions but doesn’t cure them.
7 You may see the improvement only after a 3-month treatment course.
8 Do not discontinue taking the medicine until your doctor tells you so.
9 Tell your doctor about any specific medical condition that you have, especially:
Kidney/stomach/liver/swallowing/blood pressure/thyroid/esophagus/mouth/gallbladder/womb/intestine/digestion problems
10 Do not either smoke or drink alcohol during the treatment and control your body weight.
11 The doctor may restrict you to a diet rich in vitamin D and calcium. Say if you are already on a particular diet.
12 Take good care of your mouth, gums and teeth while using Alendronate.
13 The medicine may cause giddiness. Make sure you know how your body reacts to it until you do anything that may be life-threatening.
The following side effects may occur during the treatment: headache, diarrhea, rash, pain in the muscles, esophagus, sickness, abdominal pain, constipation. Among the most serious ones are: vomiting, bone, jaw and muscle pain, ulcer, heartburn, swallowing problems. In this case search for medical help immediately.
Some of them may occur as the body adjusts to the medicine. Anyway, if any are observed, check with the doctor.
Sores in the mouth and esophagus damage have been observed when the medicine wasn’t taken properly.
Do not make up for the missed dose. Go back to your regular schedule the next day. Never take more than one dose a day.
Signs of overdose are esophagitis, vaginal bleeding, hypocalcemia, gastritis, ulcer and vomiting. Call the emergency immediately if you suspect you had too much of the medicine.
- Keep away from children
- Store at room temperature
- Keep away from heat, cold, moisture and direct light
- Dispose of an outdated medicine
This information is to serve your information purposes only and not to substitute for the knowledge and skills of your healthcare practitioner. It covers only the general issues of the drug uses, direction, warning and possible side effects and is not to be looked upon as an instruction for a particular patient. We disclaim all responsibility for any adverse effects or any negative consequences that may be the result of the use of this information.