prescription drugs
Free drug information service 
All available medical information about prescription drugs 

Fosamax

What is alendronate

Alendronate is a compound that alters the cycle of bone formation and breakdown in your body. alendronate increases new bone formation.

Fosamax is used to treat and prevent osteoporosis and to treat Paget's disease. Fosamax is also used to treat osteoporosis that is caused by treatment with a corticosteroid.

Fosamax may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

General medical information about Fosamax

Some forms of alendronate are taken once a day. Others are taken only once a week. It is very important that you follow your doctor's directions. If you take alendronate once a week, take it on the same day each week.

After swallowing the tablet, do not lie down, remain fully upright sitting, standing or walking, for at least 30 minutes and until after you have eaten.

Do not crush, chew, or suck the tablets. Swallow them whole.

Do not take alendronate at bedtime or before getting up for the day.

Who should not take Fosamax

Before taking Fosamax, tell your doctor if you
- have a problem swallowing, such as a narrowing of your esophagus;
- have esophageal ulcers or an esophageal disease;
- have a condition that causes low levels of calcium in your 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 lower dose 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 harm an unborn baby. Do not take Fosamax without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.

It is also 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.

How should take Fosamax

Take Fosamax exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Some forms of alendronate are taken once a day. Others are taken only once a week. It is very important that you follow your doctor's directions. If you take alendronate once a week, take it on the same day each week.

Take Fosamax first thing in the morning, at least 30 minutes before you eat any food or drink any liquid (other than plain water). This timing is very important for getting the maximum amount of medication from each dose. Foods and beverages greatly decrease the effect of Fosamax.

Take each dose with a full glass (6 to 8 ounces) of tap water or bottled water. Taking each dose with a full glass of water will ensure proper swallowing of the tablet and reduce the risk of mouth or throat irritation. Do not take this medication with mineral water, juice, or any other beverage.

After swallowing the tablet, do not lie down, remain fully upright sitting, standing or walking, for at least 30 minutes and until after you have eaten.

Do not crush, chew, or suck the tablets. Swallow them whole.

Do not take Fosamax at bedtime or before getting up for the day.

If you have difficulty or pain upon swallowing, chest pain, or new or worsening heartburn, stop taking Fosamax and call your doctor.

It is important that you continue taking Fosamax for as long as your doctor prescribes it. Fosamax can treat or prevent osteoporosis only if you continue to take it.

Store Fosamax at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

If you miss a dose:

If you take alendronate every day and you miss a dose, skip that dose and take your 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 alendronate 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.

What happens if you overdose:

Seek emergency medical attention.

The symptoms of an Fosamax overdose are unknown, but the following symptoms might be expected: nausea, heartburn, pain in your abdomen, other stomach-related symptoms, muscle cramps, uncontrollable facial grimacing, seizures, irritability, and abnormal behavior.

Avoid while taking Fosamax

Follow you doctor's recommendations about drinking alcohol and smoking. These activities are related to decreased bone density.

Possible side effects of Fosamax

Stop taking Fosamax and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following serious side effects:
- an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
- difficulty or pain when swallowing;
- chest pain;
- pain or burning under your ribs or in your back; or
- new or worsening heartburn.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take Fosamax and talk to your doctor if you experience
- abdominal discomfort;
- stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation;
- headache;
- muscle, bone, or joint soreness or aches;
- eye pain;
- a rash; or
- an altered sense of taste.

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.

What other drugs will affect Fosamax

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.

Aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, others), ketoprofen (Orudis KT, Orudis, Oruvail), indomethacin (Indocin, Indocin SR), naproxen (Anaprox, Aleve, Naprosyn), oxaprozin (Daypro), nabumetone (Relafen), piroxicam (Feldene), and others may increase the risk of damage to your stomach if they are taken during treatment with Fosamax. Talk to your doctor before taking anti-inflammatory medications, pain relievers or fever reducers during treatment with Fosamax.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with Fosamax. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

All prescription drugs:

A
abilify accupril accutane acetaminophen aciphex actifed actonel actos acyclovir adalat adderall adipex advair advil albuterol alesse aleve allegra allopurinol amaryl ambien amiodarone amitriptyline amoxicillin amoxil amphetamine anacin aprazolam aricept asacol aspirin atenolol ativan atorvastatin atrovent augmentin avandia avapro avastin avelox azmacort
B
baclofen
bactrim bactroban baycol benadryl bextra biaxin boniva bontril buspar buspirone
C
caduet campral camptosar capoten captopril cardizem cardura carisoprodol casodex catapress cefzil celebrex celexa cellcept cephalexin cialis cipro ciprodex clarinex claritin climara clindamycin clonazepam clonidine codeine codeprex combivent combivir concerta copaxone coreg coricidin cotrim coumadin cozaar crestor cubicin cyclobenzaprine cymbalta
D
darvocet demerol depakote desogen detrol dextromethorphan diazepam diclofenac didrex diflucan digoxin dilantin diltiazem dimetapp diovan diprivan ditropan doxazosin doxycycline drixoral duragesic dyazide
E
effexor elavil elocon eloxatin emend enalapril enbrel endocet engerix-b entex epogen epzicom erbitux ertaczo ery-tab erythromycin estradiol evista 
F
fabrazyme famotidine fazaclo fenofibrate fioricet fiorinal flexeril flomax flonase flovent fluoxetine fosamax fosrenol furosemide  
G
gabapentin gamimune gemfibrozil gemzar glipizide glucophage glucotrol glucovance glyburide glyburide guaifenesin guaifenex 
H
herceptin humalog humira hydroxyzine hyzaar  
I
ibuprofen imdur imitrex imodium inderal insulin integrilin iressa 
K
kaletra keflex kenalog keppra ketek klonopin kytril  
L
lamictal lamisil lanoxin lantus lasix lescol levaquin levitra levothyroxine levoxyl lexapro lidoderm lipitor lisinopril lithium lorazepam lortab lotensin lotrel lotrisone lovenox lupron luveris  
M
macrobid magnevist meclizine medroxyprogesterone meridia metformin methadone methamphetamine methotrexate methylphenidate methylprednisolone metoclopramide metoprolol metronidazole miacalcin minocycline mobic monopril morphine motrin myfortic  
N
naproxen nasacort nasonex natrecor neulasta neupogen neurontin nexium nifedipine nitrofurantoin norco nortriptyline norvasc  
O
omeprazole omnicef orthovisc oxybutynin oxycodone oxycontin oxytrol  
P
paraplatin patanol paxil pegasys penicillin pepcid percocet percodan percogesic phendimetrazine phenergan phentermine phenytoin plavix plendil potassium pravachol prednisone premarin prempro prevacid prilosec prinivil procrit promethazine propecia propofol propoxyphene propranolol protonix proventil provigil prozac pseudoephedrine pulmicort  
R
ranitidine rebetol reglan relafen relpax remeron remicade renagel renova rhinocort riomet risperdal risperidone ritalin rituxan rocephin rogaine roxicet  
S
sanctura seasonale sensipar serevent seroquel serzone singulair skelaxin soma somavert sonata spiriva spironolactone strattera striant sustiva synagis synthroid 
T
tamoxifen tavist taxol taxotere tegretol temazepam tenormin tenuate tequin terazosin tetracycline tiazac tindamax titralac tobradex topamax toprol tramadol trazodone triamcinolone triaminic triamterene tricor trileptal trimox triphasil trizivir truvada tylenol 
U
ultane ultracet ultram uroxatral
V
valium valtrex vaniqa vasotec velcade verapamil viagra vicodin vicoprofen vidaza viracept viread vytorin  
W
warfarin wellbutrin  
X
xalatan xanax xenical xifaxan xolair xopenex xyrem  
Y
yasmin 
Z
zanaflex zantac zavesca zelnorm zemplar zerit zestoretic zestril zetia ziac zithromax zocor zofran zoladex zoloft zometa zorbtive zosyn zovirax zyrtec zyvox