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FOSAMAX
ALENDRONATE - ORAL

Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

ALENDRONATE - ORAL

(al-EN-droh-nate)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Fosamax

Uses

Alendronate is used to treat certain cases of osteoporosis (brittle bones) and Paget's disease (a bone weakening disorder).

How To Use

This medication must be taken on an empty stomach at least 30 minutes before eating or drinking anything other than water (including other medicines or vitamins). Take this medication with a full glass (6-8 oz or 180 ml-240 ml) of plain water once daily unless your doctor directs you otherwise. Swallow the tablets whole. Do not suck or chew them. Do not lie down for at least 30 minutes after taking this medication.

Side Effects

The most common side effect is stomach pain. Other less common side effects are nausea, vomiting, heartburn, stomach fullness, gas, constipation, diarrhea, headache or altered taste. Notify your doctor if you notice: an increase in muscle or bone pain, severe heartburn, chest pain, black or tarry stools. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions

This medication should not be used by patients with kidney disease, low blood calcium levels, or if allergic to biphosphonates. Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: trouble swallowing, ulcers or other gastrointestinal problems. It is also important to not smoke and to limit the amount of alcohol used as these can increase the risk of osteoporosis. This medication should not be used by pregnant or nursing women.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor of all prescription and nonprescription drugs you may use, especially of: estrogens, aspirin, other arthritis medication (NSAID such as ibuprofen). Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include stomach upset or pain, heartburn, and esophageal pain.

Notes

It is very important to not take this medication with anything other than water. Even juice and coffee have been found to interfere with its absorption. Exercising regularly and acquiring calcium in the diet via eating well-balanced meals can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Your doctor will advise you if you should take supplemental calcium as well as vitamin D.

Missed Dose

If you should miss a dose, do not take it later in the day. Instead skip the missed dose and continue your usual dosing schedule the next morning.

Storage

Store this medication between 58 and 86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from moisture. Do not store in the bathroom.

Medical Alert

Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information call MedicAlert at 1-800-854-1166 (USA), or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).