Fosamax® (alendronate sodium)

What is Fosamax?

Fosamax (alendronate) is a bisphosphonate used for treating bone loss or osteoporosis. It works by altering the cycle of bone formation and breakdown in human body. It reduces bone loss while increasing bone mass that is helpful in prevention against frequent bone fractures.Fosamax is an effective medication for curing osteoporosis which is caused by menopause. It is also used in both men and women for treating bone loss caused by long-term steroid consumption. Fosamax is also utilized for increasing mass in men and for the treatment of Paget’s disease i.e a chronic disorder causing enlarged and remodeling of bones.Fosamax is used for some other health-related issues which may or may not be listed in this guide.

Important information

Do not use Fosamax if there is low concentration of calcium in body medically known as hypocalcemia or you are suffering from problem in movement of muscles in esophagus.Use of Fosamax must be avoided if you are not able to sit upright or stand for at least 30 minutes. Alendronate, the core ingredient of Fosamax, is known to cause serious problem in stomach area and esophagus (Tube connecting mouth to stomach). After using Flomax, you will be required to sit upright and stand for half an hour at least.

Before taking this medicine

Do not take Fosamax if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients, especially Alendronate. Use of Fosamax is not recommended if there is low concentration of calcium in body medically known as hypocalcemia or you are suffering from problem in movement of muscles in esophagus.Intake of Fosamax must be avoided if you are not able to sit upright or stand for at least 30 minutes. Alendronate, the core ingredient of Fosamax, is known to cause serious problem in stomach area and esophagus (Tube connecting mouth to stomach). After using Flomax, you will be required to sit upright and stand for half an hour at least.

For ensuring the safety of medication, inform your doctor if you have:

  • Troubles in swallowing
  • Dental issues
  • Any kidney disease
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Ulcer or any other problem in stomach or esophagus

In some rare and unusual cases, Fosamax has caused bone loss (osteonecrosis) in jaw. Symptoms are red or swollen gums; slow healing after dental work, jaw pain or numbness, and loose teeth.Chances of occurrence of Osteonecrosis in jaw are more likely when you are suffering from cancer or have undergone chemotherapy, radiation treatments or used steroids. Other risk factors are anemia, a pre existing dental problem and blood clotting disorders. Discuss about benefits and detriments of Fosamax with your doctor.

FDA pregnancy category C: It is unknown whether Fosamax cause damage to fetus. Inform your doctor if you detect pregnancy or have plans of getting pregnant before using this medication. It is doubtful whether this medication excretes into human breast milk. Tell your doctor if you are nursing your baby.

Fosamax side effects

Call for medicinal help in case you feel unwell after intake of Fosamax. This medication is known to cause some allergic reactions such as hives or skin rash, breathing difficulties and swelling in face, throat, lips and tongue.

Discontinue using Fosamax in case you face:

  • Chest pain or severe heartburn
  • Pain or inflammation under ribs or in back
  • Difficulty and pain while swallowing
  • Burning pain in upper stomach area, blood in cough
  • Severe join, muscle or bone pain, unusual pain in thigh and hip
  • Body aches, fever or flu symptoms
  • Numbness, jaw pain or swelling

Frequent side effects are:

  • Mild heartburn, nausea;
  • Vomiting, stomach pain, bloating;
  • Diarrhea, gas or constipation;
  • Mild joint pain or swelling;
  • Dizziness, eye pain or headache

Note: Apart from above mentioned, there are few other side effects of Fosamax. If case you feel extremely unwell, immediate medical attention is required. You may report the matter to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 FREE

What other drugs will affect Fosamax?

Inform your doctor about other drugs you are using with Fosamax. Certain medications react with Fosamax, such as:

NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as naproxen (Aleve), diclofenac, celecoxib, indomethacin, naproxen (Aleve), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and othersNote: This is not a comprehensive list and other drugs can also react to Fosamax. Inform about all your medications to your specialist. This includes prescribed and over-the-counter drugs, health or dietary supplements and Ayurvedic or herbal products. While on Fosamax, don’t start a new medication without your doctor’s guidance.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use Fosamax once in a day first in the morning; do not consume it later in the day. If you skip a dose wait for next morning and avoid taking skipped dose. Do not consume 2 tablets in a single day.In case you consume it once in a week, take the skipped dose the next day. Return on your normal regular routine on your chosen dose day. Do not consume 2 tablets in a single day.

What happens if I overdose?

Strive to medical attention instantly or call poison help centre at 1-800-222-1222 FREE. Drink a glass of milk and then give a call to local poison control centre or emergency medical care straight away. Do not lie down and control vomiting.Overdose symptoms are heartburn, stomach pain, nausea, tight muscles in your face, seizures, confusions, irritability, muscle cramps and numbness or tingling.

How should I take Fosamax?

Follow doctor’s guidance and every instruction on prescription manual while using Fosamax. Do not increase or decrease the dosage amount on your own. Ask your doctor in case you have any query.Fosamax tablets are taken once in a day or one time each week. Begin your morning with a Fosamax tablet, the first thing to do in the wee hours; at least 30 minutes before you eat and drink or consuming any other medication. If you are taking a Fosamax pill once each week, then take it on the same day every week.It is orally administered with a glass of water (6 to 8 ounces). Use plain not mineral water for taking Fosamax. Tablet of Fosamax must not be broken, chewed or crushed. Swallow the whole tablet.

Carefully follow instructions post Fosamax intake:

  • Avoid lying down for at least 30 minutes
  • Do not eat or drink anything except plain water
  • Shun other medications such as calcium, antacids and vitamins for at least 30 minutes. It is best to consume other medications at different time of day. Ask your doctor about best dosing schedule of Fosamax with other medications.

For ensuring the best results of this medication, you may need to go for bone mineral density tests regularly. The maximum course of this medication is for 3 to 5 years if you are using if for treating osteoporosis.If you have to go for any dental activity, inform your dentist about using Fosamax. You may be required to stop the consumption of this medication for short time.Fosamax works best when combined with proper dietary changes, exercise and using calcium or vitamin supplements. Follow the entire program closely.Store Fosamax at Room Temperature. Keep it away from heat and moisture.

Reviews for Alendronate

Fosamax (alendronate) for Osteoporosis: I stopped the consumption of this medication when the side effects were so fatal that I fell ill for 2 consecutive days. Earlier, I thought I will cope with its malaises but severe stomach upset, bloating and gas disturbed the normal routine. Consistent vomiting, dizziness and worse aches were enough for me to quit using medication.

Fosamax (alendronate) for Prevention of Osteoporosis: Initially, I continuously took the drug for 4 weeks but no conspicuous development. Then I started feeling critical pain in back and upper ribs on right side. The pain was severe as I have had removed my gall bladder 18 years ago.

Fosamax (alendronate) for Osteoporosis: On the first week itself, I faced back pain and body ache. Second week witnessed headache that lasted for two days. I am worried about side effects it causes rather than benefits it offers.