Brand Name: Actonel
Drug Class: Bisphosphonate
inhibitor of bone resorption
Available in: Tablets
Available OTC? No
As Generic? No
side effects are rare and may include chest pain, swelling
of the arms, legs, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
symptoms, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation,
joint pain, headache, dizziness, skin rash.
Less Common: Weakness,
growth of tumors, belching, bone pain, leg cramps, muscle weakness,
bronchitis, sinus infection, ringing in the ears, dry eye.
To treat and prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal
women. Also used to prevent and treat steroid-induced osteoporosis
in men and women who are either beginning or continuing treatment
with steroids (such as prednisone) for chronic diseases. To treat
Pagets disease, a disorder characterized by rapid breakdown
and reformation of bone, which can lead to fragility and malformation
How the Drug Works
Healthy bones are continuously remodeled (broken
down and then reformed); the minerals and other components of
bones are reabsorbed by one set of cells (osteoclasts) and replaced
by another set of cells to form new bone. Risedronate suppresses
the activity of osteoclasts; consequently, the breakdown of bone
tissue occurs more slowly than the laying down of new bone. As
a result, bone density and strength are preserved.
For treatment and prevention of osteoporosis (postmenopausal
and steroid-induced): 5 mg a day. For Pagets disease: 30
mg once a day for 2 months.
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Take it with a full glass of plain water. Taking
risedronate with food or beverages (including mineral water)
other than plain water is likely to reduce the absorption of
the drug from the intestine. Take the tablets at least 30 minutes
before the first food or drink of the day (other than plain water).
The drug must be taken in an upright position. Maintain adequate
vitamin D and calcium intake; however, vitamin or mineral supplements
should be taken no sooner than 2 hours after taking the drug.
Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat,
moisture, and direct light.
If You Miss a Dose
If you miss a dose on one day, do not double the
dose the next day. Resume your regular dosage schedule.
Stopping the Drug
Take it as prescribed for the full treatment period.
The decision to stop taking the drug should be made in consultation
with your physician.
For Pagets disease: Risedronate is generally
prescribed for a 2-month course of therapy. A second round of
treatment may be considered after this 2 month period. Consult
Over 60: No special
problems are expected.
Driving and Hazardous Work: Do
not drive or engage in hazardous work until you determine how
the medicine affects you.
Alcohol: No special
precautions are necessary.
your doctor about whether the benefits of taking the medicine
outweigh the potential risks to the unborn child.
Breast Feeding: Risedronate
may pass into breast milk; caution is advised. Consult your doctor
for specific advice.
Infants and Children: Safety
and effectiveness have not been established for children under
Special Concerns: Remain
upright for at least 30 minutes after taking this medication.
If you develop symptoms of esophageal disease (such as difficulty
or pain when swallowing; chest pain, specifically behind the
sternum; or severe or persistent heartburn), contact your doctor
before continuing risedronate.
Symptoms: No cases
of overdose have been reported.
What to Do: If someone
takes a much larger dose than prescribed, call your doctor, emergency
medical services (EMS), or a poison control center.
Aluminum-, calcium-, or magnesium-containing antacids,
if needed, should be taken no sooner than 2 hours after taking
No known food interactions, although risedronate
works best when taken on an empty stomach.
Kidney impairment or a gastrointestinal disease
may increase the risk of side effects. Low blood calcium levels
and vitamin D deficiency must be treated before using risedronate.
From The Johns Hopkins Consumer Guide to Drugs. You
can order this book now on our secure server.