The reference site for Alendronate

Alendronic acid or alendronate sodium is a bisphosphonate drug used for osteoporosis, osteogenesis imperfecta, and several other bone diseases.

WHAT IS ALENDRONATE?

Alendronate is in a class of medications used to strengthen the bone. A young bone is in a constant state of remodeling and is composed by cells called osteoblasts, whereby old bone is removed by cells called osteoclasts. Alendronate inhibits bone removal by the osteoclasts.
This medication is primarily used to treat osteoporosis (thinning of bone) in women after menopause. After menopause, there is an increased rate of bone loss (resorption). In these patients, alendronate has been shown to increase bone density while strengthening it at the same time, and decrease the rate of bone fractures.
Alendronate is also helpful in the treatment of Paget’s disease of the bone. Paget’s disease is characterized by a disorderly and accelerated remodeling of the bone, leading to bone weakness and pain.

 

Brand Name(s): Fosamax
CAS nº: 121268-17-5
(a-LEN-dro-nate)

Product Info

The sections below will provide you with more specific information and guidelines related to alendronate and its correct use. Please read them carefully.

FDA Information

Alendronate was approved by the FDA in 1995. The FDA clearance of Fosamax® to treat osteoporosis is based on efficacy data from five clinical trials involving 1,827 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis in 16 countries who were followed for at least two years.
Please visit the official site of the FDA for further information.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Alendronate is in a class of medications used to strengthen bone. Bone is in a constant state of remodeling, whereby old bone is removed by cells called osteoclasts, and new bone is laid down by cells called osteoblasts. Alendronate inhibits bone removal by the osteoclasts.
This medicine is used to treat osteoporosis (thinning of bone) in women after menopause. After menopause, there is an increased rate of bone loss (resorption). In these patients, alendronate has been shown to increase bone density while strengthening bone, and decrease the rate of bone fractures. Alendronate is also helpful in the treatment of Paget’s disease of the bone. Paget’s disease is characterized by a disorderly and accelerated remodeling of the bone, leading to bone weakness and pain.
This medication can sometimes be prescribed for other uses, but it is strongly recommended that you ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Please consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Dosage and using this medicine

Alendronate comes as an orally-administered tablet and a solution (liquid).
The liquid is usually taken on an empty stomach once a week in the morning. The tablets is normally taken on an empty stomach once a day in the morning or once a week in the morning.
Alendronate may not work properly and may damage the esophagus (tube between the mouth and stomach) or cause sores in the mouth if it is not taken according to the following instructions. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
You must take alendronate immediately after you get out of bed in the morning, and before you eat or drink anything. Never take alendronate at bedtime or before you get up for the day.
Swallow the tablets with a full glass (6-8 ounces) of plain water, and drink at least a quarter of a cup (2 ounces) of plain water after drinking alendronate liquid. Never take alendronate with tea, coffee, juice, or any liquid other than plain water.
Swallow the tablets whole and do not split, chew, crush, or suck on them.
After you take alendronate, do not eat, drink, or take any other medications for at least 30 minutes. Do not lie down immediately after you take alendronate. It is advised that you sit or stand upright until at least 30 minutes have passed and you have eaten your first food of the day.
Please note that alendronate controls osteoporosis and Paget’s disease of the bone, but does not cure these conditions. Additionally, this medicine also helps to prevent osteoporosis as long as it is taken regularly.
Continue to take alendronate even if you feel well, and do not stop taking alendronate without first talking to your doctor.

What special precautions should I follow?

BEFORE TAKING ALENDRONATE:
Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to alendronate or any other medications.
Moreover, inform your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and non-prescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: antiacids, aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®) and naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®), calcium, iron, or potassium supplements, doxycycline (Doryx®, Vibramycin®), quinidine (Quinaglute®), and tetracycline (Sumycin®). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
If, however, you are taking any other medications, vitamins, or antiacids orally, take them at least 30 minutes after alendronate.
Additionally, tell your doctor if you are unable to sit or stand upright for 30 minutes or to feed yourself. Your doctor should also be aware if you have or have ever had any problems with your esophagus, difficulty swallowing, heartburn, ulcers, other stomach problems, low levels of calcium in your blood, frequent muscle cramps or spasms, osteomalacia (softening of bones due to lack of vitamin D), or kidney disease.
It is important that you let your doctor know if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant in the near future, or are breast-feeding. This is due to the fact that alendronate may remain in your body for many years after you stop taking it. 
 
Talk to your doctor about other things you can do to prevent osteoporosis from developing or worsening. Your doctor will probably tell you to avoid smoking and drinking large amounts of alcohol and to follow a regular program of weight-bearing exercise.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dose of once-daily alendronate, do not take it later in the day. Skip the missed dose and take one dose the next morning as usual.
If you miss a dose of once-weekly alendronate, take one dose the morning after you remember. Then return to taking one dose once each week on your regularly scheduled day.
Never take a double dose to make up for a missed one, and never take more than one dose in 1 day.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Possible side effects from using alendronate may include:
mild nausea

dyspepsia

abdominal cramps

flatulence

diarrhea

obstipation
Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
stomach pain

constipation

diarrhea

gas

bloating or fullness in the stomach

change in ability to taste food

pain in bones, muscles, or joints

headache
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
new or worsening heartburn

difficulty swallowing or pain when swallowing

chest pain

upset stomach

vomiting, bloody vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds

black, tarry, or bloody stools

mouth sores or pain in the mouth (especially if you chew or suck on tablets)

rash (may be severe and may be made worse by sunlight)

itching

hives

swelling of eyes, face, lips, tongue, or throat

difficulty breathing

hoarseness

eye pain

flu-like symptoms or fever
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?

Always keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Please remember to throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. If you have any questions regarding this, talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of an emergency/overdose

In the case of a suspected overdose, call your local poison control center on 1-800-222-1222. However, if the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, please call the local emergency services on 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
heartburn

upset stomach

vomiting, bloody vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds

difficulty swallowing or pain when swallowing

stomach pain

bloody or black and tarry stool

seizures

muscle twitches, cramps, or spasms

 

Product Images

PICTURES OF ALENDRONATE PILLS

Below you will find images and specific information on the principal types of alendronate that exist, including their respective brand name(s), strength, inscription codes and manufacturers.
The information below includes general information and guidelines for patients taking this medication and should never be used to substitute professional medical advice that can be provided by a qualified physician or family doctor..

Name: FOSAMAX®
Strength(s): 10 MG
Imprint: MRK | 936
Manufacturer: MERCK & CO.

Name: FOSAMAX®
Strength(s): 35 MG
Imprint: 77
Manufacturer: MERCK & CO.
Distributor: ALLSCRIPTS PHARM.

Name: FOSAMAX®
Strength(s): 40 MG
Imprint: FOSAMAX | MRK 212
Manufacturer: MERCK & CO.

Name: FOSAMAX®
Strength(s): 70 MG
Imprint: 31
Manufacturer: MERCK & CO.

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