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Alendronate Weekly Oral Tablets

What is this medicine?

ALENDRONATE (a LEN droe nate) slows calcium loss from bones. It treats osteoporosis. It may be used in other people at risk for bone loss.

How should I use this medicine?

Take this drug by mouth with a full glass of water. Take it as directed on the prescription label at the same day of each week. Take the dose right after waking up. Do not eat or drink anything before taking it. Do not take it with any other drink except water. Do not chew or crush the tablet. After taking it, do not eat breakfast, drink, or take any other drugs or vitamins for at least 30 minutes. Sit or stand up for at least 30 minutes after you take it. Do not lie down. Keep taking it unless your health care provider tells you to stop.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your health care provider about the use of this drug in children. Special care may be needed.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care provider as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions (skin rash, itching or hives; swelling of the face, lips, or tongue)

  • bone pain

  • heartburn (burning feeling in chest, often after eating or when lying down)

  • jaw pain, especially after dental work

  • joint pain

  • low calcium levels (fast heartbeat; muscle cramps or pain; pain, tingling, or numbness in the hands or feet; seizures)

  • muscle pain

  • painful or difficulty swallowing

  • redness, blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth

  • stomach bleeding (bloody or black, tarry stools; spitting up blood or brown material that looks like coffee grounds)

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care provider if they continue or are bothersome):

  • changes in taste

  • constipation

  • diarrhea

  • nausea

What may interact with this medicine?

  • aluminum hydroxide

  • antacids

  • aspirin

  • calcium supplements

  • drugs for inflammation like ibuprofen, naproxen, and others

  • iron supplements

  • magnesium supplements

  • vitamins with minerals

What if I miss a dose?

If you take your drug once a day, skip it. Take your next dose at the scheduled time the next morning. Do not take two doses on the same day.

If you take your drug once a week, take the missed dose on the morning after you remember. Do not take two doses on the same day.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children and pets.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused drug after the expiration date.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • bleeding disorder

  • cancer

  • dental disease

  • difficulty swallowing

  • infection (fever, chills, cough, sore throat, pain or trouble passing urine)

  • kidney disease

  • low levels of calcium or other minerals in the blood

  • low red blood cell counts

  • receiving steroids like dexamethasone or prednisone

  • stomach or intestine problems

  • trouble sitting or standing for 30 minutes

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to alendronate, other drugs, foods, dyes or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your health care provider for regular checks on your progress. It may be some time before you see the benefit from this drug.

Some people who take this drug have severe bone, joint, or muscle pain. This drug may also increase your risk for jaw problems or a broken thigh bone. Tell your health care provider right away if you have severe pain in your jaw, bones, joints, or muscles. Tell you health care provider if you have any pain that does not go away or that gets worse.

Tell your dentist and dental surgeon that you are taking this drug. You should not have major dental surgery while on this drug. See your dentist to have a dental exam and fix any dental problems before starting this drug. Take good care of your teeth while on this drug. Make sure you see your dentist for regular follow-up appointments.

You should make sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D while you are taking this drug. Discuss the foods you eat and the vitamins you take with your health care provider.

You may need blood work done while you are taking this drug.


NOTE:This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider. Copyright© 2020 Elsevier