Risedronate (By mouth)

Introduction

Risedronate (ris-e-DROE-nate)

Treats or prevents osteoporosis. Also treats Paget disease of the bone.

Brand Name(s)

Actonel, Atelvia

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet, Delayed Release Tablet

  • Use plain water to take your medicine. The medicine may not work as well if you use other liquids.
  • Delayed-release tablet:
    • Take this medicine once a week in the morning right after breakfast. Choose a day that best fits your activity schedule and will be easy to remember.
    • Sit or stand while you take this medicine. Do not lie down for at least 30 minutes after you take the medicine.
    • Swallow the tablet whole with 4 ounces of water. Do not crush, chew, or cut it.
  • Regular-release tablet:
    • Take this medicine in the morning on an empty stomach. Follow the directions exactly to lower the risk of esophagus problems.
    • If you take this medicine once each month, take it on the same date each month. Choose a day that will be easy to remember.
    • Sit or stand while you take this medicine. Do not lie down for at least 30 minutes after you take the medicine, and do not lie down until after you have eaten.
    • Swallow the tablet whole with 6 to 8 ounces of water. Do not chew or suck on the tablet.
    • Wait at least 30 minutes after you take this medicine before you eat or drink or take any other medicine. This will help your body absorb the medicine.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Missed dose:
    • Delayed-release tablet: Take a dose the next morning after you remember. Do not take 2 tablets on the same day. Return to your regular schedule the following week.
    • Regular-release tablet:
      • Once a day dose: Skip the missed dose and take a regular dose the next morning. Do not take 2 tablets on the same day.
      • Once a week dose: Take a dose the next morning after you remember. Return to your regular schedule the following week.
      • Once a month dose:
        • If the next dose is more than 7 days away, take a dose the next morning after you remember. Return to your regular schedule the following month. Do not take more than 1 tablet within 7 days.
        • If the next dose is 1 to 7 days away, skip the missed dose and take your next dose on the scheduled day. Do not take more than 1 tablet within 7 days.
      • 2 days in a row each month dose:
        • If the next doses are more than 7 days away and you missed both tablets, take a dose the next morning after you remember. Take the second dose the following morning. If you missed only one tablet, take it the next morning after you remember. Return to your regular schedule the following month. Do not take more than 2 tablets within 7 days.
        • If the next doses are 1 to 7 days away, skip the missed doses and take your next doses on the scheduled days. Do not take more than 2 tablets within 7 days.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how risedronate works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
    • Cancer medicines
    • NSAID pain or arthritis medicine (including aspirin, celecoxib, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen)
    • Steroids (including dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, methylprednisolone, prednisolone, prednisone)
  • Take risedronate at least 30 minutes before you take any other oral medicine, including aluminum, magnesium, iron, or calcium supplements, or antacids.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, anemia, blood clotting problems, heartburn, ulcers or other stomach or bowel problems, or a history of cancer. Tell your doctor if you have dental problems or if you wear dentures. Also tell your doctor if you smoke or drink alcohol.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Damage to your esophagus
    • Low calcium levels in the blood
    • Increased risk for a thigh bone fracture
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine could cause jaw problems, especially if you have a tooth pulled or have other dental work.
  • This medicine may interact with the dye used for bone scans.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Chest pain, new or worsening heartburn, or a burning feeling in your throat
  • Muscle spasms or twitching, tingling or numbness in your fingers, toes, or around your mouth
  • Pain or difficulty when swallowing
  • Pain, swelling, numbness, or a heavy feeling in your mouth or jaw, loose teeth, or other tooth problems
  • Severe bone, joint, or muscle pain
  • Unusual pain in your thigh, groin, or hip

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Mild bone pain
  • Mild stomach pain or upset

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 10/12/2016

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