How to Use Fosamax (Alendronate) Tablets for Preventing and Treating Osteoporosis

Fosamax is a trade name for Alendronate drug primarily used for treating osteoporosis and Paget’s disease. Although the drug comes in the form of pills and it’s easy to take it, there are certain rules to follow in order to increase its effectiveness and decrease the side effects. In this article, we will tell you about the usage, dosage, and side effects of Fosamax or Alendronate.

Fosamax (Alendronate) for Osteoporosis

Indications: When Should You Use Fosamax

Fosamax or Alendronate is prescribed for treating osteoporosis in women in menopause. It is also prescribed for men for osteoporosis and Paget’s disease.

Osteoporosis refers to the abnormal thinning of bones, making them fragile and prone to fractures. It can develop due to various factors like lack of calcium, vitamin D deficiency, natural aging, genetic predisposition, disproportionate height and weight, hormonal imbalance, smoking, and early menopause. Osteoporosis accounts for bone fractures and compression spine fractures in 35 percent of women. It is also the major reason for hip fractures in aged patients, often rendering them bedridden.

After proper diagnosis by your doctor, if you are prescribed Fosamax, you can buy it from your local pharmacy or an online drug store like RXShopMD. However, note that consulting a doctor is important since the drug may be contraindicated or incompatible with other medication or condition.

Fosamax Dosage

You should follow the dosage advised by your doctor since it would be different for each patient depending upon his or her condition and its cause. Fosamax pills usually come with the following instructions:

  • You should take the pills with clean water at least half an hour before your first meal.
  • For prevention of osteoporosis, you should take a 5 mg tablet everyday at the same time. Alternatively, you can also take a 35 mg dose once a week at the same day and time of the week.
  • For treating osteoporosis caused by glucocorticoid hormone, you should daily take a 5 mg pill. Instead, you can also take a weekly dose of 35 mg at a fixed day and time.
  • Women in menopause who do not receive estrogen should take a 10 mg pill every day.
  • For treating osteoporosis, you should take either a 10 mg tablet every day or 70 mg every week at the same day and time.
  • In case of Paget’s disease, a single dosage of 40 mg must be taken every day for six months.

Be careful about inadvertently mixing the dosage with any other medicine, since it can substantially affect the effectiveness of alendronate. If you are taking any other medicine compatible with alendronate, be sure to keep a gap of at least 30 minutes.

Contraindications: When Should You Avoid Fosamax (Alendronate) Pills?

You should not use Fosamax pills if you are allergic to alendronate drug or any other component of this medicine. Additionally, Fosamax is contraindicated in the following conditions:

  • If you suffer from any esophagus related disease.
  • If you have hypocalcemia (low calcium level).
  • If you suffer from kidney dysfunction and your creatinine clearance is lower than 35 milliliters per minute.
  • If you can’t stay in vertical position for at least 30 minutes.
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

You should also avoid Fosamax if you are below 18 years since the effect of the drug in this age-group is not fully studied. Patients with gastrointestinal disorders should be cautious in using Fosamax.

Fosamax Side Effects

The most dangerous side effect Fosamax can have is on the gastrointestinal tract. Hence, patients with any dysfunction of an organ in this tract should strictly stay away from this drug. Common side effects of Fosamax may include:

  • Esophagitis
  • Esophageal stricture
  • Esophagus ulcer or erosion
  • Gastritis
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach ulcer
  • Peptic ulcer

Other possible side effects may include:

  • Ache in bones
  • Myalgia (muscle pain)
  • Joint pain
  • Swelling
  • Dizziness
  • Change in taste
  • Itching
  • Skin rashes

Inform your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms from the usage of this medication.