Fosamax or Fosavance (alendronic acid or alendronic sodium) is a biphosphonate medicine used to prevent and treat thinning of the bones (called osteoporosis), a condition called Paget’s disesase, and other diseases where loss of bone mass is a concern.
Biphosphonates are a class of medicines that all work in a similar way to help the bones.
Taking Fosamax | Fosavance
Fosamax is available in oral tablet form in a variety of different dosages. 5mg or 10mg tablets are taken once a day. 35mg or 70mg tablets are taken once a week.
Fosamax should be taken first thing in the morning. Patients should not lie down after taking this medicine.
Fosamax should be taken on an empty stomach. Patients should wait at least 1 hour before taking any other medication, or eating or drinking anything other than clean water (no coffee, juice, or tea). It is recommended that patients drink a full glass of water while taking their tablet.
To help build the bones, patients should take calcium and vitamin D supplements while taking Fosamax. Doctors will tell their patients the right amount of calcium and vitamin D to take. Patients should take this medicine and any supplements exactly as prescribed by their doctor.
Important Tests and Risks
Doctors need to monitor the response of patients taking Didrocal. This is done with a Bone Mineral Density test, usually once every 1 to 3 years.
Biphosphonate medicines like Fosamax have been associated with a very rare problem with the jaw called osteonecrosis. This problem is sometimes seen after dental work. Patients should let their doctor know if they develop sudden pain in the jaw.
Alcohol is known to increase fracture risk by decreasing bone mineral density and promoting osteoperosis. Patients who are prescribed Fosamax should stop drinking alcohol, or at least reduce the amount of alcohol that they drink.
How Fosamax | Fosavance Works
The body features an ongoing process called bone remodeling where bones are constantly broken down (bone resorption) and rebuilt. Bones are broken down by a type of cell called osteoclasts and are built back up by a type of cell called osteoblasts.
In people with osteoporosis and Paget’s disease, too much bone is being broken down too quickly.
All bisphosphonates, including Fosamax, bind to the surface of bones and slow down the bone resorption process. They work because they are toxic to the osteoclasts that break down bone. Slowing down the resorption process gives the body more time to build up and strengthen the bones.
Side Effects of Fosamax | Fosavance
Patients should talk to their doctor if they are concerned about any side effects.
The most common side effect of Fosamax is stomach upset, pain, bloating, and nausea. To minimize side effects, it is best to take Fosamax as prescribed: in the morning before any food or drink other than water. It is best to wait at least one hour after taking Fosamax before taking any other medication or eating or drinking anything else but water.
- Nausea & diarrhea – The most common side effect of Didrocal is stomach upset, pain, bloating, and nausea. Didrocal can irritate the lining of the stomach, esophagus, or intestine. This is rare. It can result in stomach pain or trouble swallowing.
- Headache – Didrocal can rarely cause a headache.
- Muscle & bone pain – Didrocal can rarely cause bone, muscle, or joint pain.
Fosamax should not be taken during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Patients who become pregnant should stop taking the medicine and contact their doctor.
Who Should NOT Take Fosamax | Fosavance
People who should NOT be taking Fosamax include:
- Patients who are allergic to Fosamax or any ingredient in this medicine
- Patients who are allergic to other biphosphonate medications
- Patients that are pregnant or breast-feeding
Anyone who becomes pregnant while taking Fosamax should notify their doctor immediately.
When to Call a Doctor
People taking Fosamax should call their doctor if they feel sick and want to stop, or they are concerned about any side effects.
Other reasons to call a doctor while taking Fosamax include:
- Stomach pain or trouble swallowing
- Pregnant or Planning Pregnancy
- New severe pain in the jaw
- Upcoming surgery
Fosamax | Fosavance Video
Watch Dr. Andy Thompson, a Canadian rheumatologist, introduce Fosamax | Fosavance.