Medications > Alendronate (Fosamax) > Alendronate (Fosamax) Pictopamphlet
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ALENDRONATE (Fosamax) [Al-en-DROW-nate]
How to use this medication
Alendronate is a medication used to treat and prevent thinning of the bones (called osteoporosis).
Alendronate can be taken once a day as a 5 or 10 mg tablet. Alendronate can also be taken ONCE A WEEK as a 35 mg or 70 mg tablet.
Alendronate should be taken first thing in the morning. Do not lie down after taking the medicine.
Alendronate should be taken on an empty stomach. Wait at least 1 hour before taking any other medication or eating or drinking anything.
Take alendronate with a full glass of water. Do not take it with coffee, juice or tea.
What you need to do
To help build your bones you should take calcium & vitamin D while taking alendronate. Your doctor will tell you the right amount of calcium and vitamin D for you.
Alendronate should not be taken during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Stop the medicine and let your doctor know if you become pregnant while taking alendronate.
Medicines like alendronate have been associated with a very rare problem with the jaw (osteonecrosis). This problem has been seen after dental work. Let your doctor know if you develop sudden pain in the jaw.
Your doctor will monitor your response to alendronate by testing your BMD. This is usually done every 1 to 3 years. Talk to your doctor.
Side effects & Important things to know
The most common side effect of alendronate is stomach upset, pain, bloating, and nausea. Alendronate can irritate the lining of the stomach, esophagus, or intestine. This is rare. It can result in stomach pain or trouble swallowing.
When should I call my doctor
- If you feel sick and want to stop
- If you are concerned about any side effects
- If you want to or have already stopped the medicine
Other Reasons to Call your Doctor:
Stomach pain or trouble swallowing
Pregnant or Planning Pregnancy
Other important information
You can simply stop taking alendronate. You do not need to wean off it. Please call your doctor if you stop the medication.