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Risedronate Patient Tips

Medically reviewed on Nov 13, 2017 by C. Fookes, BPharm.

How it works

  • Risedronate strengthens bones and may be used for the treatment or prevention of osteoporosis. Risedronate works by inhibiting osteoclasts which are responsible for breaking down and reabsorbing bone (by a process known as bone resorption). Risedronate strengthens bones by slowing down bone loss and allowing osteoblasts (bone building cells) to work more effectively, improving bone mass.
  • Risedronate belongs to the class of medicines known as bisphosphonates.

Upsides

  • Risedronate is used in the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women and men.
  • Risedronate may also be used to treat glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis and Paget's disease of the bone.
  • Risedronate may also be used to treat adverse skeletal effects caused by some cancers.
  • Depending on the condition being treated, risedronate may be taken once daily, once weekly, or monthly.
  • Generic risedronate is available.

Downsides

If you are between the ages of 18 and 60, take no other medication or have no other medical conditions, side effects you are more likely to experience include:

  • Abdominal pain, back pain, belching, cough, constipation, cramping, diarrhea, difficulty swallowing, headache, heartburn, high blood pressure, skin rash, and urinary tract infections.
  • Risedronate, like other bisphosphonates, may cause irritation of the esophagus and stomach. Some cases have been severe enough to warrant hospitalization. The risk is greater in people who lie down soon after taking risedronate or who don't take it with a full glass of water. Risedronate should be taken with a full glass of water and the person taking it should remain upright for at least 30 minutes.
  • Severe bone, joint, or muscle pain, necessitating discontinuation of risedronate in some people, has been reported, occurring from one day to several months after starting the drug.
  • Rarely may cause other side effects including uveitis (eye inflammation).
  • May not be suitable for some people including those with kidney disease, pre-existing esophageal conditions, low blood calcium levels (hypocalcemia), or who are unable to stand or sit upright for at least 30 minutes.
  • There are concerns about the long-term safety of bisphosphonates (such as risedronate) because long-term use has been associated with atypical femur fractures, osteonecrosis of the jaw and esophageal cancer.
  • Fracture risk reduction may also persist for years after treatment has stopped. The optimal duration of therapy with risedronate has not been established. Periodically re-evaluate the need for therapy. Discontinuation of therapy should be considered by doctors after 3 to 5 years in patients at low risk of fracture.
  • Risedronate may interact with antacids or supplements containing calcium or magnesium.
  • Risedronate may lower calcium levels in the blood. Pre-existing low blood calcium levels should be corrected before risedronate administration.

Notes: In general, seniors or children, people with certain medical conditions (such as liver or kidney problems, heart disease, diabetes, seizures) or people who take other medications are more at risk of developing a wider range of side effects. For a complete list of all side effects, click here.

Bottom Line

Risedronate helps to reduce the risk of fracture in people with osteoporosis and some other bone conditions. Dosage instructions, including remaining upright for at least 30 minutes and taking with a full glass of water, must be strictly followed. The optimal length of therapy remains unknown.

Tips

  • Take risedronate exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not increase or decrease the dosage without your doctor's advice.
  • Take risedronate at least 30 minutes before eating or drinking any food or beverages (other than water), or taking any other medication, including calcium, antacids or vitamins for the day.
  • Take risedronate with a full glass of water and remain upright for at least 30 minutes after taking risedronate. Do not lie down.
  • Avoid eating, drinking (other than water) or taking other medications for 30 minutes after taking risedronate.
  • You may need to take supplementary calcium or vitamin D if your dietary intake is inadequate. Your doctor will advise you on this. If you are taking supplemental calcium, iron, magnesium, or antacids, take them at a different time of day to risedronate (for example at lunchtime), as they may interfere with the absorption of risedronate. Note that mineral water may contain a higher concentration of calcium than tap or bottled water, and you should only drink if your doctor has confirmed it is compatible with risedronate.
  • Talk to both your dentist and doctor if you require dental surgery or a tooth extraction and you have been on risedronate long-term. They may advise discontinuation of risedronate.
  • Tell your doctor if you experience any thigh or groin pain, muscle cramps or twitches, severe or debilitating muscle pain, eye inflammation, or any other adverse effects of concern while you are taking risedronate.

Response and Effectiveness

  • Risedronate starts to affect markers that reflect bone resorption within 14 days of treatment, reaching a maximal effect on all markers reflecting bone turnover within six months. Effects remain stable following continued treatment for up to three years.
  • Food can decrease the absorption of risedronate by up to 55%.

References

  • Risedronate [Package Insert] Revised 08/2017. Sun Pharma Global FZE https://www.drugs.com/pro/risedronate.html
  • Eriksen EF, Díez-Pérez A, Boonen S. Update on long-term treatment with bisphosphonates for postmenopausal osteoporosis: a systematic review. Bone. 2014 Jan;58:126-35. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2013.09.023. Epub 2013 Oct 9.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use risedronate only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. This drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. It is an informational resource designed as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Drugs.com does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of this information. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2018 Drugs.com. Revision Date: 2017-11-14 02:31:22

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