What is alendronic acid used for?
Alendronic acid is commonly used to treat osteoporosis.
It is a type of drug known as a bisphosphonate.
It is used to prevent bone loss in women after they have been through the menopause, and bone loss in men and in people taking steroids.
In general, this drug is used to prevent bone loss in post-menopausal women, men and steroid users. It is also used to help rebuild bone and reduce the risk of spine and hip fractures.
Benefits of being on this drug can include an increase in bone density and a decrease in likelihood of fractures.
How should I take alendronic acid?
Alendronic acid can be taken once a day or once a week, depending on the dose required.
To help the tablet reach your stomach quickly and reduce any possible irritation you should take your medication first thing in the morning, before any other food or drink with a full glass of plain water only (not less than 200ml or 7 fl. oz).
You should not take your tablet with mineral water, coffee, tea, fruit juice, or milk. Do not chew the tablet, or allow it to dissolve in your mouth.
Stay fully upright after taking alendronic acid (sit, stand or walk) for at least 30 minutes. Do not lie down until after you have eaten your first food of the day.
Alendronic acid is only effective if it is taken when your stomach is empty, so do not have any food, drink, or any other medicines, including antacids, calcium supplements and vitamins until at least 30 minutes after taking alendronic acid.
Do not take alendronic acid at bedtime or before getting up for the day.
Use this medication regularly or for duration of prescription in order to get the most benefit from it.
Remember to use it at the same time each day/week – unless specifically told otherwise by your doctor.
Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.
How do I store alendronic acid?
Alendronic acid is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store alendronic acid in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of alendronic acid that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush alendronic acid down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using alendronic acid?
Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of alendronic acid or other medications.
- You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
- You are allergic to other bisphosphonates.
- You have problems or abnormalities with the esophagus (the tube that connects your mouth with your stomach) such as narrowing or difficulty swallowing,
- You cannot stand or sit upright for at least 30 minutes, have low blood calcium levels,
- You have any kidney problems, allergies, swallowing or digestive problems including ulcers, low blood calcium levels and/or a vitamin-D deficiency, gum disease, or if you need a tooth removed.
A dental examination should be considered before you start treatment with alendronic acid if you have cancer, are undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy, are taking steroids, do not receive routine dental care, or have gum disease.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.
Alcohol intake is not known to affect alendronic acid.
The elderly: alendronic acid can be used in the elderly.
Appropriate preventative dental care, as recommended by your dentist, should be followed during treatment with this drug.
Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
There isn’t enough information about the safety of using alendronic acid during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking alendronic acid.
What side effects can occur from alendronic acid?
Side effects may occur when using this drug, such as:
- Heartburn (a burning feeling in the chest, behind the breastbone or gullet)
- Difficulty swallowing
- Pain upon swallowing
- Ulceration of the esophagus (the tube that connects your mouth with your stomach)
- Chest pain
- Muscle, joint and back pain
- Bone, muscle and/or joint pain
- Stomach pain
- Uncomfortable feeling in the stomach or belching after eating
- Full or bloated feeling in the stomach
- Feeling sick (nausea)
- Irritation or inflammation of the esophagus or stomach
- Black or tar-like stools
- Redness of the skin
If any of these persist or you consider them severe then contact doctor or pharmacist.
Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms: difficulty and/or pain when swallowing, pain behind the breastbone or new or worsened heartburn.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
What drugs may interact with alendronic acid?
Alendronic acid may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Does food or alcohol interact with alendronic acid?
Alendronic acid may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with alendronic acid?
Alendronic acid may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using alendronic acid.
What is the dose of alendronic acid for an adult?
Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.
What is the dose of alendronic acid for a child?
The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How is alendronic acid available?
Alendronic acid is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of alendronic acid, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: September 19, 2017 | Last Modified: September 19, 2017
Alendronic acid. https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/22465. Accessed September 19, 2017
Alendronic acid. http://drugs.webmd.boots.com/drugs/drug-9-Alendronic+Acid.aspx. Accessed September 19, 2017