Fosamax (Alendronate Sodium) Dosage and Side Effects
FOSAMAX is used to treat or prevent osteoporosis in women after menopause. FOSAMAX can help to reduce the chance of having a spinal or hip fracture. It can also increase bone mass in men with osteoporosis; treat osteoporosis in either men or women who are taking corticosteroid medicines; and treat certain men and women who have Paget’s disease (a bone disorder).
Warnings and Precautions
Fosamax is not for use in children or people with kidney problems.
Fosamax can cause unusual thigh bone fractures and other bone problems.
Fosamax has also been linked to joint and muscle pain; irregular heartbeat; and inflammation and ulcers of the esophagus.
Before taking Fosamax, tell your doctor if you plan to have dental surgery or teeth removed, and if you experience any of the following:
- Problems with swallowing
- Stomach or digestive problems
- Low blood calcium
- Kidney problems
- Malabsorption syndrome, which causes trouble absorbing minerals in your stomach or intestines
Pregnancy and Fosamax
Fosamax might cause harm to a woman’s fetus.
But there haven’t been any studies in pregnant women taking Fosamax. Therefore, Fosamax should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the mother and fetus.
It’s also not known if Fosamax passes into a woman’s milk while breastfeeding.
Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, talk with your doctor before taking Fosamax while breastfeeding.
FOSAMAX can cause serious side effects. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following.
Esophagus problems: FOSAMAX can cause irritation, inflammation, or ulcers of the esophagus which may sometimes bleed.
Taking FOSAMAX exactly as your doctor prescribes can help lower your chance of having esophagus problems.
If you get chest pain, new or worsening heartburn, or have trouble or pain when you swallow, immediately stop taking FOSAMAX and call your doctor.
Low calcium levels in your blood (hypocalcemia): Since FOSAMAX can cause low calcium levels, if you have low blood calcium before you start taking FOSAMAX, it may get worse during treatment and must be treated before you take FOSAMAX.
Symptoms of low blood calcium include, spasms; twitches or cramps in your muscles; and numbness or tingling in your fingers, toes, or around your mouth.
Bone, joint, or muscle pain: FOSAMAX can cause severe bone, joint, or muscle pain.
Severe jaw bone problems (osteonecrosis): Before taking FOSAMAX, your doctor, and possibly dentist, will examine your mouth.
FOSAMAX can cause jawbone tissue to break down, exposing the bone and possibly leading to infections, gum lesions and loosened teeth.
Unusual thigh bone fractures: FOSAMAX can cause fractures in thigh bones. Symptoms of a fracture may include new or unusual pain in your hip, groin, or thigh.
Allergic reactions and asthma: FOSAMAX can also cause allergic reactions, such as hives or swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat, and may worsen asthma symptoms.
Interactions with this medication
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Certain medicines may affect how FOSAMAX works. Especially tell your doctor if you take any of the following:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Proper Use of this medication
FOSAMAX comes as a 10 milligram (mg) daily or 70 mg (tablet or oral solution) once weekly.
Whether you take FOSAMAX once daily or once weekly, the medication only works if taken on an empty stomach, so it’s best to take it before drinking, eating or taking other medicine for the day.
FOSAMAX should be taken while sitting or standing with a full glass of plain water only, and should not be taken with mineral water, coffee, tea, soda, or juice.
FOSAMAX is meant to be swallowed, not chewed or sucked on.
After you swallow a FOSAMAX tablet, you can sit, stand or walk, and do normal activities. However, it’s important to wait at least 30 minutes before doing the following:
- Laying down
- Eating or drinking, except for plain water
- Taking other medicines, including antacids, calcium, and other supplements and vitamins
If you or someone else takes too much FOSAMAX, call your doctor. Do not try to vomit.
Missed Dose of FOSAMAX
If you miss a dose of FOSAMAX, do not take it later in the day.
Instead, wait until the next day to take your dose, and then return to your normal schedule.
Do not “double up” and take more than one dose at a time.