Generic Name: Alendronate Tablets (a LEN droe nate)
Brand Name: Fosamax
Medically reviewed on May 2, 2018
Uses of Alendronate Tablets:
- It is used to put off or treat soft, brittle bones (osteoporosis).
- It is used to treat Paget's disease.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Alendronate Tablets?
- If you have an allergy to alendronate or any other part of this medicine (alendronate tablets).
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you have any of these health problems: A swallowing tube (esophagus) that is not normal, low calcium levels, kidney disease, or trouble swallowing.
- If you are not able to stand or sit up for 30 minutes.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this medicine (alendronate tablets).
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this medicine (alendronate tablets) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Alendronate Tablets?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take this medicine (alendronate tablets). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Very bad swallowing tube (esophagus) problems like irritation, swelling, ulcers, and bleeding have happened with this medicine (alendronate tablets). Talk with the doctor.
- Worsening of asthma has happened in people taking drugs like this one. Talk with the doctor.
- This medicine may raise the chance of a broken leg. Talk with the doctor.
- Have a bone density test as you have been told by your doctor. Talk with your doctor.
- This medicine works best when used with calcium/vitamin D and weight-bearing workouts like walking or PT (physical therapy).
- Follow the diet and workout plan that your doctor told you about.
- Have a dental exam before starting this medicine (alendronate tablets).
- Take good care of your teeth. See a dentist often.
- Talk with your doctor before you drink alcohol.
- If you smoke, talk with your doctor.
- This medicine is not approved for use in children. However, the doctor may decide the benefits of taking this medicine (alendronate tablets) outweigh the risks. If your child has been given this medicine (alendronate tablets), ask the doctor for information about the benefits and risks. Talk with the doctor if you have questions about giving this medicine (alendronate tablets) to your child.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this medicine (alendronate tablets) while you are pregnant.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
How is this medicine (Alendronate Tablets) best taken?
Use this medicine (alendronate tablets) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take on an empty stomach before breakfast.
- Take at least 30 minutes before the first food, drink, or drugs of the day.
- Do not lie down for at least 30 minutes after taking this medicine (alendronate tablets).
- Keep taking this medicine (alendronate tablets) as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
- Take with a full glass of water.
- Take with plain water only. Avoid taking with mineral water, milk, or other drinks.
- Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Do not take it later in the day.
- Take the missed dose on the next morning after you think about it and then go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses on the same day.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of low calcium levels like muscle cramps or spasms, numbness and tingling, or seizures.
- Black, tarry, or bloody stools.
- Chest pain.
- Coughing up blood.
- Very bad belly pain.
- Trouble swallowing.
- Very bad pain when swallowing.
- Sore throat.
- Very upset stomach or throwing up.
- Throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds.
- Very bad bone, joint, or muscle pain.
- Any new or strange groin, hip, or thigh pain.
- Mouth sores.
- This medicine may cause jawbone problems. The chance may be higher the longer you take this medicine (alendronate tablets). The chance may be higher if you have cancer, dental problems, dentures that do not fit well, anemia, blood clotting problems, or an infection. The chance may also be higher if you are having dental work, getting chemo or radiation, or taking other drugs that may cause jawbone problems like some steroid drugs. There are many drugs that can do this. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure. Call your doctor right away if you have jaw swelling or pain.
What are some other side effects of Alendronate Tablets?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Belly pain.
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Hard stools (constipation).
- Loose stools (diarrhea).
- Muscle or joint pain.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Alendronate Tablets?
- Store at room temperature.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time this medicine (alendronate tablets) is refilled. If you have any questions about this medicine (alendronate tablets), please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about alendronate
- Alendronate Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 38 Reviews – Add your own review/rating
- Drug class: bisphosphonates
- Alendronate Effervescent Tablets
- Alendronate Oral Solution
- Alendronate (Advanced Reading)