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- What is risedronate, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for risedronate?
- Is risedronate available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for risedronate?
- What are the uses for risedronate?
- What are the side effects of risedronate?
- What is the dosage for risedronate?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with risedronate?
- Is risedronate safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about risedronate?
What is risedronate, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- 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.
What are the uses for risedronate?
- 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).
What are the side effects of risedronate?
The most common side effects of risedronate include:
- Joint pain
- Abdominal pain
- High blood pressure
Other less common side effects include:
Possible serious side effects include:
- Diaphyseal femur
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
- Esophageal cancer
- Esophageal ulcer
- Femur fracture
- Stomach and duodenal ulcer
Severe irritation of the esophagus (for example, esophagitis, esophageal ulcers, esophageal erosions) can occur. This occurs more often when patients do not drink enough water with risedronate, or do not wait 30 minutes before lying down.
Rarely, patients may experience jaw problems (osteonecrosis of the jaw) associated with delayed healing and infection after tooth extraction.
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What is the dosage for risedronate?
- For post menopausal osteoporosis, 5 mg of risedronate is taken once daily, 35 mg is taken weekly or 150 mg is taken monthly.
- For Osteoporosis in men is treated with 35 mg weekly.
- For Paget's disease is treated with 30 mg daily for two months, and steroid-induced osteoporosis is treated with 5 mg daily.
- Risedronate should be taken with 6 to 8 ounces of plain water.
- Because food interferes with the absorption of risedronate, it should be taken first thing in the morning before anything is eaten or liquids consumed.
- Also, no food or drink should be taken for at least 30 minutes after taking risedronate.
- To avoid pills sticking and irritating the throat or esophagus, persons should not lie down for at least 30 minutes after taking risedronate.
- Also, it should not be taken at the same time as iron supplements, vitamins with minerals, or antacids containing calcium, magnesium, or aluminum which reduce the absorption of risedronate.
Which drugs or supplements interact with risedronate?
- Food, calcium, antacids, and medications containing iron, magnesium, or aluminum reduce the absorption of risedronate, resulting in loss of effectiveness. Thus, it should be taken with plain water only.
Is risedronate safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
What else should I know about risedronate?
What preparations of risedronate are available?
- Tablets: 5, 30, 35, and 150 mg.
- Tablets (Delayed release): 35 mg
How should I keep risedronate stored?
Tablets should be stored at room temperature, 15 C - 30 C (59 F - 86 F).
Risedronate (Actonel, Actonel with Calcium, Atelvia) is a prescription medication used to treat postmenopausal osteoporosis, osteoporosis in men, and to prevent and treat osteoporosis caused by steroid medications. Common side effects include:
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Related Disease Conditions
Learn about osteoporosis, a condition characterized by the loss of bone density, which leads to an increased risk of bone fracture. Unless one experiences a fracture, a person may have osteoporosis for decades without knowing it. Treatment for osteoporosis may involve medications that stop bone loss and increase bone strength and bone formation, as well as quitting smoking, regular exercise, cutting back on alcohol intake, and eating a calcium- and vitamin D-rich balanced diet.
Paget's disease is a chronic bone disorder due to irregular breakdown and formation of bone tissue. Symptoms of Paget's disease include bone pain, headaches and hearing loss, pressure on nerves, increased head size, hip pain, and damage to cartilage of joints.
Menopause is the time in a woman's life when menstrual periods permanently stop, also called the "change of life." Menopause symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, irregular vaginal bleeding, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, urinary incontinence, weight gain, and emotional symptoms such as mood swings. Treatment of menopausal symptoms varies, and should be discussed with your physician.
Disease Prevention in Women
Disease prevention in women includes screening tests that are a basic part of prevention medicine. All screening tests are commonly available through your general doctor. Some specialized tests may be available elsewhere.
Osteopenia is a bone condition characterized by bone loss that is not as severe as in osteoporosis. Bone fracture is the typical symptom of osteopenia, though the condition may be present without symptoms. Treatment involves lifestyle modifications (quitting smoking, not drinking in excess) and ensuring an adequate intake of vitamin D and calcium.
Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA or Temporal Arteritis)
Giant cell arteritis, inflammation of blood vessel walls, affects 10%-15% of polymyalgia rheumatica patients. Symptoms of giant cell arteritis include fatigue, weight loss, low-grade fever, jaw pain when chewing, scalp tenderness, and headaches. High doses of cortisone medications are used to treat giant cell arteritis.
Osteoarthritis vs. Osteoporosis Differences and Similarities
Arthritis is defined as painful inflammation and joint stiffness. Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis and the most common cause of chronic joint pain, affecting over 25 million Americans. Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that involves the entire joint. Osteoporosis is not a type of arthritis. It is a disease that mainly is caused by a loss of bone tissue that is not limited to the joint areas. It is possible for one person to have both osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. The differences in the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis include; pain, stiffness, and joint swelling, joint deformity, crackle sounds when the joint is moving, and walking with a limp. Osteoporosis is called the "silent disease" because it can progress for years without signs and symptoms before it is diagnosed, severe back pain, bone fractures, height loss, and difficulty or inability to walk. The differences in the causes of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis are that osteoarthritis usually is caused by wear and tear on the joints. Osteoporosis usually is caused by one or more underlying problems, for example, calcium and vitamin D deficiencies. Treatment for osteoarthritis and osteoporosis are not the same. There is no cure for osteoarthritis or osteoporosis.
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