Fosamax Side Effects
Generic name: alendronate
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Mar 1, 2023.
Note: This document contains side effect information about alendronate. Some dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Fosamax.
Applies to alendronate: oral solution, oral tablet, oral tablet effervescent.
Serious side effects of Fosamax
Along with its needed effects, alendronate (the active ingredient contained in Fosamax) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking alendronate:
- Stomach pain
- Difficulty with swallowing
- irritation or pain of the esophagus
- muscle pain
- Skin rash
Incidence not known
- Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
- bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
- bone, joint, or muscle pain, severe and occasionally incapacitating
- chest pain
- difficulty with breathing
- difficulty with moving
- heavy jaw feeling
- hives or welts
- irregular heartbeats
- joint pain
- large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
- loosening of a tooth
- muscle aching or cramping
- muscle cramps in the hands, arms, feet, legs, or face
- numbness and tingling around the mouth, fingertips, or feet
- pain or burning in the throat
- pain, swelling, or numbness in the mouth or jaw
- rapid weight gain
- red skin lesions, often with a purple center
- red, irritated eyes
- redness of the skin
- sore throat
- sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or tongue or inside the mouth
- stomach cramps
- swollen joints
- tingling of the hands or feet
- trouble breathing
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- unusual weight gain or loss
Other side effects of Fosamax
Some side effects of alendronate may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.
Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Incidence not known
- Blurred vision or other change in vision
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- eye pain
- feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- hair loss or thinning of the hair
- sensation of spinning
- sensitivity of the eye to light
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to alendronate: oral solution, oral tablet, oral tablet effervescent.
Generally, this drug has been well tolerated. Adverse effects usually have been mild when patients adhered to prescribing instructions.[Ref]
Very common (10% or more): Bone, muscle or joint pain (sometimes severe)
Common (1% to 10%): Muscle cramp, joint swelling
Rare (less than 0.1%): Osteonecrosis of the jaw, atypical subtrochanteric and diaphyseal femoral fractures
Postmarketing reports: Myalgia, low-energy femoral shaft and subtrochanteric fractures[Ref]
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Rash, erythema
Rare (less than 0.1%): Esophageal stricture, oropharyngeal ulceration, upper gastrointestinal PUB (perforation, ulcers, bleeding)
Postmarketing reports: Localized osteonecrosis of the jaw, generally associated with tooth extraction and/or local infection with delayed healing[Ref]
Common (1% to 10%): Headache, dizziness
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dysgeusia[Ref]
Common (1% to 10%): Vertigo, asthenia, peripheral edema
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Transient symptoms of myalgia, malaise and rarely, typically in association with initiation of treatment[Ref]
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Eye inflammation (uveitis, scleritis, episcleritis)[Ref]
Postmarketing reports: Acute asthma exacerbations[Ref]
Frequently asked questions
More about Fosamax (alendronate)
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- Drug class: bisphosphonates
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Related treatment guides
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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.