What is Actonel?
Actonel (generic name: risedronate sodium) is an oral prescription medication indicated to treat and prevent postmenopausal osteoporosis. It also increases bone mass among men with osteoporosis, treats and prevents glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis, and also treats Paget’s disease.
This prescription medication is classified as bisphosphonate.
This is available in Actonel 35 mg, 75 mg, 150 mg, 30 mg, and 5 mg tablets.
How should I use Actonel?
To take Actonel, you must first read the patient information leaflet. Take this medication exactly as directed. This is usually prescribed only once a month. You must take this drug upon getting up in the morning and before you take your first food, drink, or medication. Swallow the tablet entirely and take it with water. Do not take it with any other drinks/beverages.
After administering your dose, stay upright in walking, standing, or sitting position for 30 minutes. Eat your first meal thereafter. Do not lie down unless you have already taken your meal. If you are prescribed quinapril, didanosine, bismuth subsalicylate, or sucralfate, do not take them for not less than 30 minutes after taking Actonel dosage as these medications could interfere with the drug’s absorption.
What are the side effects of Actonel?
The common side effects of this bisphosphonate are stomach upset, headache, tiredness, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, and flu symptoms. On the other hand, some severe adverse effects that you must report are severe bone, joint, or muscle pain, jaw pain, groin pain, vision problems, heartburn, chest pain, severe abdominal pain, difficulty swallowing, and black or tarry stools. If these severe adverse reactions occur, consult a healthcare professional.
Precautions / Contraindications
This oral prescription should not be taken if you have a known allergy to risedronate, alendronate, other bisphosphonates, or any inactive ingredients it contains. Signs of serious allergic reactions are skin rashes, swelling of the face and neck, hives, swollen lymph nodes, severe dizziness, and breathing difficulty. If this occurs, call for emergency help immediately.
This drug is also contraindicated for people with a history of dysphagia, esophagus problems, hypocalcemia, gastrointestinal disorders, severe kidney disease, and has inability to stay in an upright position.
Due to drug interactions, you should talk about all the prescription medications, nonprescription medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking.
This type of medication can cause serious jawbone problems. Your physician may check your mouth before you start this treatment. It is also necessary to have a regular dental check-up to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy. If you feel pain in your jaw area, call your doctor immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How does Actonel work?
This drug is known to have an affinity to hydroxyapatite crystals in bone and works as an antiresorptive agent. It works by inhibiting osteoclasts that adhere to the bone surface. It also reduces bone turnover and bone resorption resulting in the slowing of bone loss. Thus, maintaining strong bones and reducing the risk of bone fractures.
2. Are there foods that I should avoid while taking Actonel?
Dairy products like milk and yogurt, calcium-enriched juices, vitamins with minerals, and calcium or iron supplements can decrease the absorption of this medication.
3. What is the difference between Actonel vs Fosamax?
Although these medications belong to the same drug group, Actonel contains risedronate while Fosamax has alendronate.
4. What is the difference between Actonel vs Boniva?
Unlike Actonel, Boniva is only prescribed for women. Both are prescribed for the treatment of osteoporosis and with similar side effects. Both are members of a class of drugs known as bisphosphonates which should be taken in a specific way to help lower your chances of stomach upset
5. How long should I use Actonel for osteoporosis?
The use of this medication usually lasts for 3 to 5 years.
6. Is Actonel safe for pregnant and breastfeeding moms?
This oral drug can stay in the system for years. If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant in the near future, you must discuss the possible risks of this medication with your healthcare provider. For breastfeeding moms, it is unknown if this drug can pass into the breastmilk. Administer this medication only if extremely necessary.
7. How much does Actonel cost?
You may see the prices of this oral medication on this page.