GENERIC NAME: risedronate
BRAND NAME: Actonel, Atelvia
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Risedronate is in a class of drugs called bisphosphonates used for the treatment of Paget's disease of bone (in which the formation of bone is abnormal) and in persons with osteoporosis (in which the density and strength of bones are reduced). Other biphosphonates include the drugs alendronate (Fosamax), ibandronate (Boniva), pamidronate (Aredia), tiludronate (Skelid), and etidronate (Didronel). Bone is continually being formed and dissolved. 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. By slowing down the rate at which bone is dissolved, risedronate increases the amount of bone. Risedronate is more potent in blocking the dissolution of bone than etidronate and alendronate. The FDA approved risedronate for the treatment of Paget's disease in 1998 and for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis in 1999.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Risedronate is used for the treatment of Paget's disease of bone (osteitis deformans), treatment and prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis in women, and treatment of osteoporosis in men. It also is used to prevent and treat osteoporosis caused by steroid medications (glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis).
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