Alendronate is a prescription drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat and prevent postmenopausal osteoporosis. Alendronate is also indicated to increase bone mass in men with osteoporosis and to treat people with osteoporosis induced by glucocorticoid steroids such as prednisone. Alendronate is also referred to as Alendronic acid. Alendronate is sold under brand names including Fosamax.
Alendronate is a bisphosphonate. Bisphosphonates are believed to work in cases of osteoporosis by reducing the activity of osteoclasts, the cells that break down bone.
How do I take it?
Alendronate is taken on differing schedules, either once a day or once a week, according to what type of osteoporosis you have. Ask your doctor whether you need to take daily calcium and vitamin D supplements while on Alendronate.
Alendronate comes in tablet and oral solution forms.
The FDA-approved label for Alendronate lists common side effects including musculoskeletal pain, nausea, upset stomach, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, and acid reflux.
Rare but serious side effects listed for Alendronate include severe gastrointestinal problems, osteonecrosis (death of bone tissue) in the jaw, atypical femoral (upper leg) fractures, and severe bone, muscle, or joint pain.
For more details about this treatment, visit:
Fosamax prescribing information - Merck
Alendronate - MedlinePlus
Bisphosphonates - International Osteoporosis Foundation