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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 8, 2019.


(eye BAN droh nate)

Index Terms

  • Bondronate
  • Ibandronate Sodium
  • Ibandronic Acid

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.

Solution, Intravenous:

Boniva: 3 mg/3 mL (3 mL)

Generic: 3 mg/3 mL (3 mL)

Solution, Intravenous [preservative free]:

Generic: 3 mg/3 mL (3 mL)

Tablet, Oral:

Boniva: 150 mg

Generic: 150 mg

Brand Names: U.S.

  • Boniva

Pharmacologic Category

  • Bisphosphonate Derivative


A bisphosphonate which inhibits bone resorption via actions on osteoclasts or on osteoclast precursors; decreases the rate of bone resorption, leading to an indirect increase in bone mineral density.


Terminal Vd: 90 L; 40% to 50% of circulating ibandronate binds to bone


Not metabolized


Urine (50% to 60% of absorbed dose, excreted as unchanged drug); feces (unabsorbed drug)

Time to Peak

Oral: 0.5 to 2 hours

Half-Life Elimination

Oral: 150 mg dose: Terminal: 37 to 157 hours

IV: Terminal: ∼5 to 25 hours

Protein Binding

85.7% to 99.5%

Special Populations: Renal Function Impairment

Patients with CrCl 40 to 70 mL/minute had 55% higher AUC and patients with CrCl 30 mL/minute had more than a 2-fold increase in exposure.

Special Populations: Elderly

Progressive age-related changes in renal function may alter the elimination of ibandronate in elderly patients.

Use: Labeled Indications

Osteoporosis in postmenopausal females: Treatment and prevention of osteoporosis in postmenopausal females. Note: Ibandronate is not a preferred initial agent compared to other available bisphosphonates; however, initiation in patients requiring spine-specific efficacy may be appropriate (AACE [Camacho 2016]; Adler 2016).

Off Label Uses

Breast cancer, metastatic bone disease (treatment)

Data (including long-term follow up) from a phase III, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial support the use of ibandronate in the management of symptoms of bone disease due to metastatic breast cancer [Body 2003], [Diel 2004], [Pecherstorfer 2006].

Hypercalcemia of malignancy

Data from a multicenter, double-blind, randomized dose-comparison study and an open-label, randomized trial support the use of ibandronate in the management of hypercalcemia of malignancy [Pecherstorfer 2003], [Ralston 1997].

Prostate cancer, metastatic, bone pain (alternative agent)

A randomized controlled study that demonstrated similar outcomes when comparing ibandronate to radiation therapy for the management of metastatic bone pain suggests that ibandronate may be a treatment alternative for bone pain in patients with metastatic prostate cancer when radiation therapy is not an option [Hoskin 2015].


Known hypersensitivity to ibandronate or any component of the formulation; hypocalcemia; oral tablets are also contraindicated in patients unable to stand or sit upright for at least 60 minutes and in patients with abnormalities of the esophagus which delay esophageal emptying, such as stricture or achalasia.

Documentation of allergenic cross-reactivity for bisphosphonates is limited. However, because of similarities in chemical structure and/or pharmacologic actions, the possibility of cross-sensitivity cannot be ruled out with certainty.

Dosing: Adult

Breast cancer, metastatic bone disease (treatment; off-label use): IV: 6 mg over 1 to 2 hours every 3 to 4 weeks for up to 4 years (Body 2003; Diel 2004; Pecherstorfer 2006)

Hypercalcemia of malignancy (off-label use): IV: 2 to 6 mg as a single dose over 1 to 2 hours (Pecherstorfer 2003; Ralston 1997)

Osteoporosis in postmenopausal females (treatment):

Oral: 150 mg once monthly

IV: 3 mg every 3 months

Note: The optimal duration of treatment has not been determined. In postmenopausal women with low fracture risk, consider a drug holiday after 3 years of IV or 5 years of oral bisphosphonate therapy. In postmenopausal women who remain at high fracture risk, extending bisphosphonate treatment for up to 6 years with IV therapy or up to 10 years with oral therapy has been suggested for consideration, although these recommendations are based on trials of other bisphosphonates and ibandronate has not specifically been studied (AACE/ACE [Camacho 2016]; Adler 2016). Patients should receive supplemental calcium and vitamin D if dietary intake is inadequate.

Osteoporosis in postmenopausal females (prevention): Oral: 150 mg once monthly. Note: Patients should receive supplemental calcium and vitamin D if dietary intake is inadequate.

Prostate cancer, metastatic, bone pain (alternative agent if radiation therapy is not an option; off-label use) IV: 6 mg as a single dose over 15 minutes (Hoskin 2015)

Missed doses:

Oral: If once-monthly oral dose is missed, it should be given the next morning after remembered if the next month's scheduled dose is >7 days away. If the next month's scheduled dose is within 7 days, wait until the next month's scheduled dose. May then return to the original monthly schedule (original scheduled day of the month). Do not give >150 mg within 7 days.

IV: If an IV dose is missed, it should be administered as soon as it can be rescheduled. Thereafter, it should be given every 3 months from the date of the last injection.

Dosing: Geriatric

Refer to adult dosing.


Oral: Administer 60 minutes before the first food or drink of the day (other than water) and prior to taking any oral medications or supplements (eg, calcium, antacids, vitamins). Ibandronate should be taken in an upright position with a full glass (6 to 8 oz) of plain water and the patient should avoid lying down for 60 minutes to minimize the possibility of GI side effects. Mineral water with a high calcium content should be avoided. The tablet should be swallowed whole; do not chew or suck. Do not eat or drink anything (except water) for 60 minutes following administration of ibandronate.

IV: Administer as a 15 to 30 second bolus IV; avoid paravenous or intraarterial administration (may cause tissue damage). Do not mix with calcium-containing solutions or other drugs. For osteoporosis, do not administer more frequently than every 3 months.

Off-label rates: Infuse over 1 to 2 hours for metastatic bone disease due to breast cancer and for hypercalcemia of malignancy (Body 2003; Pecherstorfer 2003; Ralston 1997). Infuse over 15 minutes for metastatic bone pain due to prostate cancer (Hoskin 2015).

Dietary Considerations

Ensure adequate calcium and vitamin D intake; if dietary intake is inadequate, dietary supplementation is recommended. Women and men should consume:

Calcium: 1,000 mg/day (men: 50 to 70 years) or 1,200 mg/day (women ≥51 years and men ≥71 years) (IOM 2011; NOF [Cosman 2014])

Vitamin D: 800 to 1,000 int. units daily (men and women ≥50 years) (NOF [Cosman 2014]). Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA): 600 int. units daily (men and women ≤70 years) or 800 int. units daily (men and women ≥71 years) (IOM 2011).

Ibandronate tablet should be taken with a full glass (6 to 8 oz) of plain water, at least 60 minutes prior to any food, beverages, or medications. Mineral water with a high calcium content should be avoided.


Store at 25°C (77°F); excursions permitted to 15°C to 30°C (59°F to 86°F).

Drug Interactions

Aminoglycosides: May enhance the hypocalcemic effect of Bisphosphonate Derivatives. Monitor therapy

Angiogenesis Inhibitors (Systemic): May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Bisphosphonate Derivatives. Specifically, the risk for osteonecrosis of the jaw may be increased. Monitor therapy

Deferasirox: Bisphosphonate Derivatives may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Deferasirox. Specifically, the risk for GI ulceration/irritation or GI bleeding may be increased. Monitor therapy

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Bisphosphonate Derivatives. Both an increased risk of gastrointestinal ulceration and an increased risk of nephrotoxicity are of concern. Monitor therapy

Polyvalent Cation Containing Products: May decrease the serum concentration of Bisphosphonate Derivatives. Management: Avoid administration of oral medications containing polyvalent cations within: 2 hours before or after tiludronate/clodronate/etidronate; 60 minutes after oral ibandronate; or 30 minutes after alendronate/risedronate. Consider therapy modification

Proton Pump Inhibitors: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Bisphosphonate Derivatives. Monitor therapy

Test Interactions

Bisphosphonates may interfere with diagnostic imaging agents such as technetium-99m-diphosphonate in bone scans.

Adverse Reactions

Percentages vary based on frequency of administration (daily vs monthly). Unless specified, percentages are reported with oral use.


Gastrointestinal: Dyspepsia (4% to 12%)

Neuromuscular & skeletal: Back pain (4% to 14%)

Respiratory: Upper respiratory tract infection (2% to 34%)

1% to 10%:

Cardiovascular: Hypertension (6% to 7%)

Central nervous system: Headache (3% to 7%), dizziness (1% to 4%), fatigue (3%), insomnia (1% to 2%), depression (2%)

Dermatologic: Skin rash (1% to 2%)

Gastrointestinal: Abdominal pain (5% to 8%), diarrhea (2% to 7%), nausea (4% to 5%), dental disease (4%), constipation (3% to 4%), vomiting (3%), gastritis (2%), gastroenteritis (3%)

Genitourinary: Urinary tract infection (2% to 6%), cystitis (3%)

Hypersensitivity: Acute phase reaction-like symptoms (IV: 10%; oral: 3% to 9%), hypersensitivity reaction (3%)

Infection: Influenza (4% to 8%)

Local: Injection site reaction (<2%)

Neuromuscular & skeletal: Limb pain (1% to 8%), arthralgia (4% to 9%), myalgia (1% to 6%), arthropathy (4%), weakness (4%), localized osteoarthritis (1% to 3%), muscle cramps (2%)

Respiratory: Bronchitis (3% to 10%), pneumonia (6%), nasopharyngitis (3% to 4%), flu-like symptoms (1% to 3%), pharyngitis (3%)

Postmarketing and/or case reports: Acute renal failure, anaphylactic shock, anaphylaxis, angioedema, bronchospasm, bullous dermatitis, erythema multiforme, exacerbation of asthma, femur fracture (diaphyseal or subtrochanteric), hypocalcemia, iritis, musculoskeletal pain (bone, joint, or muscle; incapacitating), ophthalmic inflammation, osteonecrosis (oro-facial sites including the external auditory canal), osteonecrosis of the jaw, prolonged Q-T interval on ECG (Bonilla 2014), scleritis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, uveitis


Concerns related to adverse effects:

• Bone fractures: Atypical femur fractures (AFF) have been reported in patients receiving bisphosphonates. The fractures include subtrochanteric femur (bone just below the hip joint) and diaphyseal femur (long segment of the thigh bone). Some patients experience prodromal pain weeks or months before the fracture occurs. It is unclear if bisphosphonate therapy is the cause for these fractures; atypical femur fractures have also been reported in patients not taking bisphosphonates and in patients receiving glucocorticoids. Patients receiving long-term (>3 to 5 years) bisphosphonate therapy may be at an increased risk (Adler 2016; NOF [Cosman 2014]); however, benefits of therapy (when used for osteoporosis) generally outweigh absolute risk of AFF within the first 5 years of treatment (Adler 2016). Patients presenting with thigh or groin pain with a history of receiving bisphosphonates should be evaluated for femur fracture. Consider interrupting bisphosphonate therapy in patients who develop a femoral shaft fracture; assess for fracture in the contralateral limb.

• Bone/joint/muscle pain: Infrequently, severe (and occasionally debilitating) bone, joint, and/or muscle pain have been reported during bisphosphonate treatment. The onset of pain ranged from a single day to several months. Discontinue intravenous ibandronate therapy in patients who experience severe symptoms; symptoms usually resolve upon discontinuation. Some patients experienced recurrence when rechallenged with same drug or another bisphosphonate; avoid use in patients with a history of these symptoms in association with bisphosphonate therapy.

• Gastrointestinal mucosa irritation: May cause irritation to upper gastrointestinal mucosa. Esophagitis, dysphagia, esophageal ulcers, esophageal erosions, and esophageal stricture (rare) have been reported with oral bisphosphonates; risk increases in patients unable to comply with dosing instructions. Use with caution in patients with dysphagia, esophageal disease, gastritis, duodenitis, or ulcers (may worsen underlying condition). Discontinue if new or worsening symptoms develop.

• Hypersensitivity: Allergic reactions, including anaphylactic reaction/shock (some fatal), angioedema, bronchospasm, exacerbation of asthma, rash, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, erythema multiforme, and dermatitis bullous have been reported; discontinue immediately if anaphylactic or other severe hypersensitivity/allergic reactions occur.

• Hypocalcemia: Hypocalcemia has been reported with the use of bisphosphonates. Prior to therapy initiation, hypocalcemia must be corrected; ensure adequate calcium and vitamin D intake.

• Osteonecrosis of the jaw: Osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), also referred to as medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (MRONJ), has been reported in patients receiving bisphosphonates. Known risk factors for MRONJ include invasive dental procedures (eg, tooth extraction, dental implants, boney surgery), cancer diagnosis, concomitant therapy (eg, chemotherapy, corticosteroids, angiogenesis inhibitors), poor oral hygiene, ill-fitting dentures, and comorbid disorders (anemia, coagulopathy, infection, preexisting dental or periodontal disease). Risk may increase with increased duration of bisphosphonate use. According to a position paper by the American Association of Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), MRONJ has been associated with bisphosphonates and other antiresorptive agents (denosumab), and antiangiogenic agents (eg, bevacizumab, sunitinib) used for the treatment of osteoporosis or malignancy; risk is significantly higher in cancer patients receiving antiresorptive therapy compared to patients receiving osteoporosis treatment (regardless of medication used or dosing schedule). MRONJ risk is also increased with monthly IV antiresorptive therapy compared to the minimal risk associated with oral bisphosphonate use, although risk appears to increase with oral bisphosphonates when duration of therapy exceeds 4 years (AAOMS [Ruggiero 2014]). The manufacturer's labeling states that discontinuing bisphosphonates in patients requiring invasive dental procedures may reduce the risk of ONJ and clinical judgment by physician and/or oral surgeon should be used. However, the AAOMS suggests there is currently no evidence that interrupting oral bisphosphonate therapy alters the risk of ONJ following tooth extraction, and that no alternations or delay in any procedure common to oral/maxillofacial surgeons, periodontists, and other dental providers is necessary in patients receiving oral bisphosphonates for <4 years who have no clinical risk factors (special considerations apply to patients receiving dental implants). Conversely, in patients receiving oral bisphosphonates for >4 years or in patients receiving oral bisphosphonates for <4 years who have also taken corticosteroids or antiangiogenic medications concomitantly, the AAOMS recommends considering a 2-month drug free period prior to invasive dental procedures based on a theoretical benefit. Patients developing ONJ during therapy should receive care by an oral surgeon (AAOMS [Ruggiero 2014]). According to the manufacturer, discontinuation of oral bisphosphonate therapy should be considered (based on risk/benefit evaluation) in patients who develop ONJ.

Disease-related concerns:

• Bariatric surgery: Altered absorption and ulceration risk: Avoid oral bisphosphates after bariatric surgery; inadequate oral absorption and potential anastomotic ulceration may occur. If therapy is indicated, IV administered bisphosphonates are recommended.

• Renal impairment: Use not recommended with severe renal impairment (CrCl <30 mL/minute).

Dosage form specific issues:

• Injection: Intravenous bisphosphonates may cause transient decreases in serum calcium and have also been associated with renal toxicity.

Concurrent drug therapy issues:

• Drug-drug interactions: Potentially significant interactions may exist, requiring dose or frequency adjustment, additional monitoring, and/or selection of alternative therapy. Consult drug interactions database for more detailed information.

Monitoring Parameters

Osteoporosis: Bone mineral density (BMD) should be evaluated 1 to 2 years after initiating therapy and every 1 to 2 years (or less frequently if stable) thereafter (AACE/ACE [Camacho 2016]; NOF [Cosman 2014]); annual measurements of height and weight, assessment of chronic back pain; serum calcium and 25(OH)D; may consider measuring biochemical markers of bone turnover

Serum creatinine prior to each IV dose

Pregnancy Considerations

It is not known if bisphosphonates cross the placenta, but based on their lower molecular weight, fetal exposure is expected (Djokanovic 2008; Stathopoulos 2011).

Information related to the use of ibandronate in pregnancy is limited (El-Safadi 2012).

Bisphosphonates are incorporated into the bone matrix and gradually released over time. The amount available in the systemic circulation varies by drug, dose, and duration of therapy. Theoretically, there may be a risk of fetal harm when pregnancy follows the completion of therapy (hypocalcemia, low birth weight, and decreased gestation have been observed in some case reports); however, available data have not shown that exposure to bisphosphonates during pregnancy significantly increases the risk of adverse fetal events (Djokanovic 2008; Green 2014; Levy 2009; Sokal 2019; Stathopoulos 2011). Exposed infants should be monitored for hypocalcemia after birth (Djokanovic 2008; Stathopoulos 2011).

Until additional data are available, most sources recommend discontinuing bisphosphonate therapy in females of reproductive potential as early as possible prior to a planned pregnancy. Use in premenopausal females should be reserved for special circumstances when rapid bone loss is occurring; a bisphosphonate with the shortest half-life should then be used (Bhalla 2010; Pereira 2012; Stathopoulos 2011).

Patient Education

• Discuss specific use of drug and side effects with patient as it relates to treatment. (HCAHPS: During this hospital stay, were you given any medicine that you had not taken before? Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for? How often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?)

• Patient may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms, back pain, or painful extremities. Have patient report immediately to prescriber signs of low calcium (muscle cramps or spasms, numbness and tingling, or seizures); signs of kidney problems (urinary retention, hematuria, change in amount of urine passed, or weight gain); severe injection site redness, burning, pain, edema, or irritation; painful urination; eye pain; vision changes; severe abdominal pain; severe bone pain; severe muscle pain; severe joint pain; groin, hip, or back pain; severe dizziness; severe headache; polyuria; jaw pain or edema; chest pain; heartburn; black, tarry, or bloody stools; coughing up blood; vomiting blood; difficulty swallowing; pain with swallowing; or mouth sores (HCAHPS).

• Educate patient about signs of a significant reaction (eg, wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat). Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Patient should consult prescriber for additional questions.

Intended Use and Disclaimer: Should not be printed and given to patients. This information is intended to serve as a concise initial reference for health care professionals to use when discussing medications with a patient. You must ultimately rely on your own discretion, experience, and judgment in diagnosing, treating, and advising patients.

Further information

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