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Fosamax (alendronate) is in the group of medicines called bisphosphonates (bis FOS fo nayts). It alters the cycle of bone formation and breakdown in the body. Fosamax slows bone loss while increasing bone mass, which may prevent bone fractures. Fosamax is used in men and women to treat or prevent osteoporosis that is caused by menopause or by taking steroids. Fosamax is also used to increase bone mass in men who have osteoporosis, and to treat Paget`s disease of bone in men and women.
The health and medical information provided here is for general purposes only and is not a substitute for the expertise and judgment of your physician, or other health care professional. It should not be understood to indicate that the use of this medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you. Always consult your health care professional before using this, or any other, drug.
Do not take a Fosamax tablet if you cannot sit upright or stand for at least 30 minutes. Fosamax can cause serious problems in the stomach or esophagus (the tube that connects your mouth and stomach). You will need to stay upright for at least 30 minutes after taking Fosamax.
Take the Fosamax tablet first thing in the morning, at least 30 minutes before you eat or drink anything or take any other medicine.
Take each dose with a full glass (6 to 8 ounces) of water. Use only plain water (not mineral water, coffee, tea, or juice) when taking a Fosamax tablet.
For at least the first 30 minutes after taking a Fosamax tablet, do not lie down or recline; do not eat or drink anything other than plain water; and do not take any other medicines including vitamins, calcium, or antacids.
Some people using medicines similar to Fosamax have developed bone loss in the jaw, also called osteonecrosis of the jaw. Symptoms may include jaw pain, swelling, numbness, loose teeth, gum infection, or slow healing after injury or surgery involving the gums. You may be more likely to develop osteonecrosis of the jaw if you have cancer or have been treated with chemotherapy, radiation, or steroids. Other conditions associated with osteonecrosis of the jaw include blood clotting disorders, anemia (low red blood cells), and a pre-existing dental problem.
If you need to have any dental work (especially surgery), tell the dentist ahead of time that you are using Fosamax. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.
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.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Fosamax: 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:
difficulty or pain when swallowing;
pain or burning under the ribs or in the back;
severe heartburn, burning pain in your upper stomach, or coughing up blood;
new or worsening heartburn;
fever, body aches, flu symptoms;
severe joint, bone, or muscle pain;
new or unusual pain in your thigh or hip;
jaw pain, numbness, or swelling.
Less serious Fosamax side effects may include:
mild heartburn, bloating;
mild nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain;
diarrhea, gas, or constipation;
mild joint pain or swelling;
swelling in your hands or feet; or
dizziness, eye pain, headache.
Take Fosamax exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
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 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 Fosamax is helping your condition, your bone mineral density will need to be tested on a regular basis. Visit your doctor regularly.
If you need to have any dental work (especially surgery), tell the dentist ahead of time that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.
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. Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
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