Alendronic acid is used on its own or together with other medicines to strengthen thin and weak bones in people who have or are at risk of osteoporosis.
Alendronic acid is also used to treat Paget's disease (a painful bone condition which can cause abnormal bone growth and deformity). It helps to regulate the growth of bone in patients 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 Alendronic acid first thing in the morning, upon arising for the day. Take it with a full glass of plain water on an empty stomach, at least 30 minutes before the first food, milk products or drinks. Do not take Alendronic acid with any milk or any other drink or food besides plain water. Swallow whole, do not suck, chew or crush it.
To prevent throat irritation, take it in a sitting or standing position. Do not take at bedtime or while lying down and do not lie down for at least half an hour after swallowing it.
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.
There are 2 types of Alendronic acid tablets available - one type is to be taken everyday, while the other type is to be taken only once a week.
If you are using the Once Daily tablet, take it at about the same time everyday.
If you are using the Once-a-Week tablet, take it on the same day each week.
Alendronic acid is also available as an oral solution (syrup). If you are using the oral solution, take it with at least a quarter cup of water (2 oz). This should be taken once a week, on the same day each week.
Your doctor will advise you about which type of Alendronic acid you will take. Make sure you understand how often you need to take Alendronic acid. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
Alendronic acid must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking Alendronic acid 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 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:
- cannot sit or stand upright for at least 30 minutes
- have low levels of calcium in your blood
- have diseases of the gullet (food pipe)
as Alendronic acid may not be suitable for you.
Inform your doctor if you have:
- kidney disease or kidney stones
- have difficulty in swallowing, gastric 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
- bowel inflammation
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you are undergoing treatment for cancer or going for an operation, including minor operations and dental work, always inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking Alendronic acid.
This medicine may cause your jaw bones to weaken. You may experience dental problems such as jaw swelling and pain, loose or shaky teeth. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene while being treated with this medicine. Your doctor may recommend that you have a dental check-up before starting you on this medicine. Inform your doctor and dentist if you:
- develop a tooth infection
- develop pain, numbness or discomfort in your teeth or gums
- have a tooth extraction
You will need to have regular blood and urine tests to check your calcium levels and kidney function. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
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.
Alendronic acid may cause any of the following side effects: flu-like symptoms, heartburn (reflux), indigestion, nausea, vomiting, bloating, flatulence (wind), constipation, diarrhoea, headache, stomach pain, back pain, as well as pain of the muscle, bone or joints.
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 (medicine 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 or supplements e.g. antacids, 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.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.