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Classification: Women's Health
Generic Name: Alendronate
Typical Brand Names: Fosamax

Fosamax tablets contain the active ingredient alendronic acid (as sodium alendronate), which is a type of medicine called a bisphosphonate. (NB. Alendronic acid tablets are also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.) Bisphosphonates are medicines that prevent the breakdown of bone.

Bone is not a static structure. It is continually shaped, reformed and rebuilt by cells called osteoblasts and osteoclasts. These cells continously deposit and remove calcium and phophorous, stored in a protein network that makes up the structure of the bone. Old bone is broken down by the osteoclasts and new bone is formed by the osteoblasts.

In women at the menopause, blood levels of the female hormone oestrogen start to decrease. This results in an increase in bone breakdown by the osteoclasts, which can lead to a loss of bone density. Bone loss is particularly rapid for the first ten years after the menopause and it may lead to the development of osteoporosis - a condition in which the bones become weak and brittle and break (fracture) more easily.

Osteoporosis can also occur in men and as a result of long-term treatment with corticosteroid medicines such as prednisolone. Other risk factors include smoking, a family history of osteoporosis, early menopause and thin body build.

Alendronic acid is used both to prevent bone loss in people who are at risk of developing osteoporosis, and to prevent fractures in people who already have osteoporosis. The medicine works by binding very tightly to the bone and preventing the calcium being removed by the osteoclasts. This stops the osteoclasts from breaking down the bone, which helps to keep the bones strong and less likely to break.

Product Name Price
Fosamax 70 mg - 1 Unit No stock
Fosamax 70 mg - 2 Units No stock
Fosamax 70 mg - 3 Units No stock
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Fosamax Directions To Use

Take Fosamax exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not use the medication in larger amounts or for longer than recommended by your doctor.

Fosamax tablets are taken either once each day or once each week.

Take the Fosamax tablet first thing in the morning, at least 30 minutes before you eat or drink anything or take any other medicine. If you take a Fosamax tablet only once a week, take it on the same day each week and always first thing in the morning.

Take each Fosamax tablet with a full glass (6 to 8 ounces) of water. Use only plain water (not mineral water) when taking a Fosamax tablet. Do not crush, chew, or suck the Fosamax tablet. Swallow the pill whole.
After taking a Fosamax tablet, carefully follow these instructions:

Do not lie down or recline for at least 30 minutes after taking Fosamax.
Do not eat or drink anything other than plain water.
Do not take any other medicines including vitamins, calcium, or antacids for at least 30 minutes after taking Fosamax. It may be best to take your other medicines at a different time of the day. Talk with your doctor about the best dosing schedule for your other medicines.
To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your bone mineral density will need to be tested on a regular basis. It is important that you not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

Fosamax is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet changes, exercise, and taking calcium and vitamin supplements. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.

Fosamax Warnings and Side Effects

Before taking Fosamax, tell your doctor if you have a problem swallowing, such as a narrowing of the esophagus; have esophageal ulcers or an esophageal disease; have a condition that causes low levels of calcium in the body; have kidney disease; have stomach ulcers or other stomach or digestive problems; or are unable to stand or sit upright for at least 30 minutes. You may not be able to take Fosamax, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above. Fosamax is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether Fosamax will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take Fosamax without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether Fosamax passes into breast milk. Do not take Fosamax without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using Fosamax and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • chest pain;
  • difficulty or pain when swallowing;
  • pain or burning under the ribs or in the back;
  • new or worsening heartburn;
  • severe joint, bone, or muscle pain; or
  • jaw pain, numbness, or swelling.
  • Continue using Fosamax and talk with your doctor if you have any of these less serious side effects:
  • mild heartburn or stomach upset;
  • diarrhea, gas, or constipation;
  • mild joint or back pain; or
  • headache.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

Fosamax Missed Dose

If you take Fosamax every day and you miss a dose, skip that dose and take the next regularly scheduled dose the following day. Missing one dose will not affect your treatment. Do not take two tablets at the same time. If you take a Fosamax once a week and you miss a dose, take the missed dose on the morning after you remember. Do not take two tablets on the same day. Return to taking one tablet once a week, as originally scheduled on your chosen day.

Fosamax Storage

Store Fosamax at room temperature between 15-30 degrees C (59-86 degrees F). Throw away any unused Fosamax after the expiration date.

Fosamax Overdose

Hypocalcemia, hypophosphatemia, and upper gastrointestinal adverse events, such as upset stomach, heartburn, esophagitis, gastritis, or ulcer, may result from oral over dosage. If you do think that an overdose has occurred, call an emergency room or poison control center.

Fosamax More Information

Follow you doctor's recommendations about drinking alcohol and smoking. These activities are related to decreased bone density. Antacids and other medicines taken by mouth may decrease the effects of Fosamax. Do not take any other medicines within 30 minutes after a dose of Fosamax. Talk to your doctor before taking any other medicines during treatment with Fosamax.

Fosamax Disclaimer

This drug information is for your information purposes only, it is not intended that this information covers all uses, directions, drug interactions, precautions, or adverse effects of your medication. This is only general information, and should not be relied on for any purpose. It should not be construed as containing specific instructions for any particular patient. We disclaim all responsibility for the accuracy and reliability of this information, and/or any consequences arising from the use of this information, including damage or adverse consequences to persons or property, however such damages or consequences arise. No warranty, either expressed or implied, is made in regards to this information.

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