Alendronic acid is used to treat osteoporosis (thinning and weakening of bones) in men and postmenopausal women. It helps strengthen the bones and reduces the risk of spine and hip fractures.
This medicine is also used to treat Paget's disease (a painful bone disorder which causes abnormal bone growth and deformity). It helps to regulate the growth of bone in individuals with this disease.
Take Alendronic acid exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Take this medicine after getting up for the day. Take it with a full glass of plain water on an empty stomach. Do not take Alendronic acid with milk, coffee, tea, juice, or mineral water. Swallow it whole. Do not suck, chew or crush it. Wait for at least 30 minutes before taking any food, drinks, or other medicine.
Stay upright, do not lie down for at least 30 minutes after swallowing it. Do not take it at bedtime or while lying down.
It is important to follow these instructions carefully. Alendronic acid may cause severe irritation to the gullet (food pipe) and stomach if not taken exactly as instructed. Taking Alendronic acid in the manner described here will help to minimise any gastric irritation that it may cause. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
This medicine is available as a conventional tablet, effervescent tablet, or oral solution.
If you are taking the effervescent tablet, dissolve the tablet in a half glass of plain water (at least 120 mL). Once the fizzing has subsided and the tablet has completely dissolved, drink the solution followed by at least 30 mL of plain water. You may stir the solution if the tablet has not completely dissolved until it becomes clear to slightly cloudy solution.
If you are taking the oral solution, take it with at least a quarter cup of plain water.
There are 2 types of tablet available for this medicine - one type is to be taken everyday, while the other type is to be taken only once a week.
If you are taking the Once Daily tablet, take it at about the same time everyday.
If you are taking the Once-a-Week tablet, take it on the same day each week.
Your doctor will advise you about which type you will take. Make sure you understand how often you need to take this medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
Alendronic acid must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
If you are taking Alendronic acid daily, skip the missed dose and resume your normal dosing schedule the next morning.
If you are taking Alendronic acid only once a week, take the missed dose the next morning after you remember and return to your usual once-a-week dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- low levels of calcium in the blood
- disease of the gullet (food pipe)
- unable to stand or sit upright for at least 30 minutes
as Alendronic acid may not be suitable for you.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- have difficulty in swallowing
- stomach problems such as gastritis (inflammation of the lining of the stomach), heartburn (food or acid from your stomach backs up into your mouth, leaving a sour or bitter taste), stomach ulcers
- poor dental health, gum disease
- kidney disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you are undergoing treatment for cancer or having an operation, including minor operations and dental work, always inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking Alendronic acid.
It is important to maintain good oral hygiene while being treated with Alendronic acid. Your doctor may recommend that you have a dental check-up before starting you on this medicine. Inform your doctor and dentist if you experience any problems with your mouth or teeth such as loose teeth, swelling, or pain.
Ensure that you take enough calcium and vitamin D while being treated with Alendronic acid. Your doctor will advise you about how much of these supplements to take.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
Routine tests (e.g. bone mineral density, Ca and vitamin D levels, urine test) and dental check-ups may be done while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
Alendronic acid may cause any of the following side effects: headache, dizziness, stomach pain, diarrhoea, indigestion, stomach wind, constipation, hair loss, itching, dizziness with spinning sensation, and swelling of the joints, ankles, feet, or legs.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- muscle cramps or spasms, numbness, and tingling in the fingers, toes, or around the mouth
- severe joint and/or muscle pain
- chest pain, new or worsening heartburn, trouble or pain when swallowing
- pass out bloody stools or black as tar and vomiting blood, or ground coffee-like material
- severe jaw bone problems
- unusual pain in the hip, groin, or thigh
- rashes with peeling of the skin or blistering of the lips, mouth, or eyes accompanied by fever
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking NSAIDs (medicines for pain and inflammation) e.g. aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac.
You should wait for at least 30 minutes after taking Alendronic acid before taking any other medicines (e.g. antacids) or supplements (e.g. calcium supplements).
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements, and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Protect the effervescent tablet from moisture.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.