alendronate, Fosamax, Binosto

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 5, 10, 35, 40, 70 mg. Solution: 70 mg

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Calcium supplements and antacids reduce the absorption of alendronate. Therefore, alendronate should be taken at least 30 minutes before calcium and antacids.

Intravenous ranitidine (Zantac) increases blood levels of alendronate. The importance of this reaction is unknown.

The risk of stomach and intestinal side effects may increase when alendronate is combined with aspirin or other nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

PREGNANCY AND BREASTFEEDING SAFETY: Alendronate has not been studied in pregnant women.

It is not known whether alendronate is secreted in human milk.

STORAGE: Tablets and solution should be stored at room temperature, 15 C - 30 C (59 F - 86 F) and not frozen.

DOSING: The recommended dose for treatment of osteoporosis is 5-10 mg daily or 35-70 mg weekly. Paget's disease is treated with 40 mg once daily for six months.

Since food, other medications, and vitamins can interfere with the absorption of alendronate, they should be taken at least 30 minutes before alendronate. In order to avoid chemical irritation of the esophagus (the swallowing tube that connects the mouth with the stomach), alendronate should be taken with a full glass of plain water immediately upon arising in the morning and never chewed or sucked. It should be avoided by patients with abnormalities of the esophagus which delay esophageal emptying, such as scarring (stricture) or poor motility (achalasia). Patients should also not lie down for 30 minutes after swallowing the tablets. Those patients who are unable to remain upright for at least 30 minutes after taking alendronate should not take it.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/15/2016

Quick GuideOsteoporosis Pictures Slideshow: Are Your Bones at Risk?

Osteoporosis Pictures Slideshow: Are Your Bones at Risk?
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