What is this medication?
Alendronate/Fosamax is officially indicated for prevention of fracture in osteoporosis, or as an alternate agent in Paget disease. It is commonly prescribed off-label for prevention/treatment of glucocorticoid induced osteoporosis, or androgen deprivation therapy associated osteoporosis.
How does this medication work?
Alendronate/Fosamax indirectly increases bone mineral density by inhibiting bone resorption by osteoclasts. In Paget disease it indirectly results in decreased bone formation, but the newly formed bone has a more normal structure.
How should I take this medication?
Oral: 5-10mg once daily; 35-70mg once weekly; Paget disease – 40mg once daily
How to Take: Follow instructions provided by physician/pharmacy label, swallow whole with a whole glass of water at least 30 minutes before first food/beverage of day, keep dosing schedule consistent, store at room temperature. Supplement with calcium and vitamin D if dietary intake insufficient.
You Need to Avoid: Do not lay down for 30 minutes after dosing to prevent esophageal damage, do not consume any medications, food or beverages until 30 minutes after dosing with a full glass of plain water (not mineral water). Food or beverages can significantly impair absorption of this medication.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Before starting Alendronate/Fosamax make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take, if you have had bariatric surgery, have a history of cancer, kidney disease, if you are pregnant, breastfeeding
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
How should I store this medication?
Keep out of the reach of children at all times. Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C). Protect from light. Keep the container tightly closed. Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.
What are the possible side effects of using this medication?
Decreased serum calcium, decreased serum phosphate, indigestion, abdominal pain, and can rarely increase the risk of osteonecrosis of the jaw or atypical femur fracture.
Note this is not a complete list of side effects.
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