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- What is alendronate, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for alendronate?
- Is alendronate available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for alendronate?
- What are the uses for alendronate?
- What are the side effects of alendronate?
- What is the dosage for alendronate?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with alendronate?
- Is alendronate safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about alendronate?
What is alendronate, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Alendronate is in a class of medications called bisphosphonates. The bisphosphonate class includes etidronate (Didronel), ibandronate (Boniva), pamidronate (Aredia), risedronate (Actonel), and tiludronate (Skelid). Bisphosphonates are used for treating osteoporosis (reduced density of bone that leads to fractures) and bone pain from diseases such as metastatic breast cancer, multiple myeloma, and Paget's disease. Bone is in a constant state of remodeling. New bone is laid down by cells called osteoblasts while old bone is removed by cells called osteoclasts. Bisphosphonates strengthen bone by inhibiting bone removal (resorption) by osteoclasts. After menopause, there is an increased rate of bone loss leading to osteoporosis, and alendronate has been shown to increase bone density and decrease fractures of bones. The FDA approved alendronate in September 1995.
What brand names are available for alendronate?
Is alendronate available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
Do I need a prescription for alendronate?
What are the uses for alendronate?
Alendronate is used for treating osteoporosis in men and postmenopausal women. It also is used for Paget's disease of bone and osteoporosis caused by steroid treatment. Non-FDA approved (off-label) uses include vitamin D overdose and osteoporosis caused by spinal injury.
What are the side effects of alendronate?
The most common side effect of alendronate is stomach pain.,
Other important side effects are:
- black stool (due to intestinal bleeding),
- change in taste perception, and
- muscle or joint pain.
- femoral fractures
Quick GuideWhat Is Osteoporosis? Treatment, Symptoms, Medication
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.