Fosamax (Alendronate)

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Fosamax 40mg

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Fosamax (Alendronate) Medication Information

Uses

Fosamax is a bisphosphonate indicated for: 

  • Treatment and prevention of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women 
  • Treatment to increase bone mass in men with osteoporosis 
  • Treatment of glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis 
  • Treatment of Paget's disease of bone

Dosage

The oral tablets are available in several different strengths:

  • 5 mg
  • 10 mg
  • 35 mg
  • 40 mg
  • 70 mg

Side Effects

The most common side effects of Fosamax include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Acid regurgitation
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dyspepsia
  • Pain
  • Nausea

Speak with your doctor or pharmacist for a full list of side effects that applies to you.

Precautions

Severe irritation of upper gastrointestinal (GI) mucosa can occur. Follow dosing instructions. Use caution in patients with active upper GI disease. Discontinue if new or worsening symptoms occur. 

Hypocalcemia can worsen and must be corrected prior to use. 

Severe bone, joint, muscle pain may occur. Discontinue use if severe symptoms develop. 

Osteonecrosis of the jaw has been reported. 

Atypical femur fractures have been reported. Evaluate new thigh or groin pain to rule out an incomplete femoral fracture. 

Interactions

Common medications that interact with Fosamax are listed:

  • Calcium
  • Antacids
  • Aspirin
  • NSAIDs

Speak with your doctor or pharmacist for more information. 

Storage

Store at controlled room temperature (59-86ºF). 

Pharmacist Tips

  • Take supplemental calcium and vitamin D, if daily dietary intake is inadequate.
  • Weight-bearing exercise should be considered along with the modification of certain behavioral factors, such as cigarette smoking and/or excessive alcohol consumption, if these factors exist.
  • Patients should not chew or suck on the tablet because of a potential for oropharyngeal ulceration.

Alendronate FAQs

Can this be taken with or without food?

Fosamax should be taken with plain water the first thing upon arising for the day at least 30 minutes before the first food, beverage, or medication of the day.

 

Can I use this medication if I am pregnant?

Fosamax should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the mother and fetus. 

How long does it take Fosamax to start working?

It can take several months before your bone density starts to change

 

What happens if I take Fosamax with food?

If Fosamax is taken with food, it can decrease the amount of drug that is absorbed by the body, and reduce the effectiveness of the medication.

 

What does Fosamax do for osteoporosis?

Fosamax works to prevent the body from bone reabsorption to increase bone density.

 

What is the most common side effect with Fosamax?

The most common side effects seen with Fosamax are constipation, heartburn, diarrhea, and joint pain. 

 

Related Drugs

Reference:

Fosamax {package insert}. White Station, NJ: Merck & Co., Inc; 2012.

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2012/021575s017lbl.pdf

PharmD Medical Writer

Author: Dr. Larisa Roybal, PharmD

Dr. Roybal is a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist who has practiced in both ambulatory and acute care settings. Her pharmacy interests include oncology and general inpatient pharmacy.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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