Compare Actonel vs. Boniva

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Actonel
(risedronate)

Boniva
(ibandronate)

Prevents bone loss. Actonel (risedronate) is a first-choice treatment for osteoporosis and is available as a generic, but taking it can be a hassle.Prevents bone loss. Boniva (ibandronate) is a first-choice treatment for osteoporosis and is available as a generic, but how you have to take it can be a hassle. It's also only approved for women, not men.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
3.78Actonel
Reviews for Actonel
36%
of people (All ages) say Actonel is worth it
19%
say it works well
25%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Actonel (risedronate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Boniva
31%
+5% better vs. Actonel
20%
-1% worse vs. Actonel
27%
+2% better vs. Actonel
Have you used Boniva (ibandronate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ActonelBoniva
  • Infection 1%
  • Back pain 2%
  • Joint pain 2%
  • Stomach pain 2%
  • Traumatic bone fracture 3%
  • High blood pressure 1%
More Actonel side effects »
  • Abdominal pain 8%
  • High blood pressure 6%
  • Joint pain 6%
  • Indigestion 6%
  • Diarrhea 5%
  • Back pain 5%
  • Nausea 5%
  • Constipation 4%
  • Cold 4%
  • Pain in arms or legs 4%
More Boniva side effects »
How it works
ActonelBoniva
Actonel (risedronate) is a bisphosphonate. It slows down osteoclasts, which are the cells that break down bone. This results in greater bone mass, and lowers the possibility of fractures.Boniva (ibandronate) is a bisphosphonate. It slows down osteoclasts, the cells that break down bone. This results in greater bone mass and lowers the possibility of fractures.
Type of medication
ActonelBoniva
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ActonelBoniva
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Injection
Used for
ActonelBoniva
Risk factors for serious side effects
ActonelBoniva
  • History of ulcers, or other stomach or esophageal problems
  • History of difficulty swallowing
  • Unable to sit upright or stand for 30 minutes after taking the medicine
  • Oral or dental surgery
  • Cancer
Detailed Actonel (risedronate) risks & warnings »
  • Taking with aspirin or other NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
  • History of ulcers, or other stomach or esophageal problems
  • History of difficulty swallowing
  • Unable to sit upright or stand for 60 minutes after taking the medicine
  • Oral or dental surgery
Detailed Boniva (ibandronate) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Food
ActonelBoniva
  • Although rare, breakdown of the jawbone has happened in people taking Actonel (risedronate). This is more likely to happen if you have oral or dental surgery, or if you have poor oral hygiene. If you notice pain or swelling in your jaw, talk to your doctor right away. Also, tell your surgeon that you are taking Actonel (risedronate) prior to any oral/dental procedures.
  • Although rare, breakdown of the jawbone has happened in people taking Boniva (ibandronate). This is more likely to happen if you have oral or dental surgery, or if you have poor oral hygiene. The risk might also increase the longer you take Boniva (ibandronate). If you notice pain or swelling in your jaw, talk to your doctor right away.
Pain
ActonelBoniva
  • Talk to your doctor if you have pain with swallowing, pain in your chest or stomach, or new or worsening heartburn.
  • If you have pain with swallowing around your chest or stomach, new or worsening heartburn, or any pain around your hips, thighs, or jaw, tell your doctor right away.
Upsides and benefits
ActonelBoniva
  • Actonel (risedronate) is one of the first choice medicines to treat osteoporosis.
  • It is available in generic.
  • It is available in tablets that can be taken by mouth once or twice a month, once a week, or once a day.
  • Available in generic.
  • Available in pills that can be taken by mouth once a month.
  • Also available as a shot given into your vein every 3 months.
Downsides and risks
ActonelBoniva
  • You have to take Actonel (risedronate) first thing in the morning with a full glass of water.
  • You have to remain upright for at least 30 minutes after you take it, which can be a problem if you have trouble moving.
  • You have to take Boniva (ibandronate) first thing in the morning with a full glass of water.
  • You have to remain upright for at least 60 minutes after you take the medicine, which can be a problem if you have mobility issues.
  • It is only approved to treat and prevent osteoporosis in women who have gone through menopause.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ActonelBoniva
  • If you're taking the immediate release medicine, take it first thing when you wake up by swallowing the whole pill with a full glass of water.
  • Remain sitting or standing, and don't take any other medications, vitamins, or supplements for at least 30 minutes after you take Actonel (risedronate).
  • If you forget to take your dose, skip it and take it the following morning.
  • Keep taking your calcium and vitamin D.
  • Talk to your doctor if you have pain with swallowing, pain in your chest or stomach, or new or worsening heartburn.
  • If you develop pain in your jaw, hips, or thighs, call your doctor.
  • Can be taken as a pill or as an injection.
  • Take the pill first thing when you wake up by swallowing the whole pill with a full glass of plain water.
  • Don't eat or drink anything, or take other medicines for at least 60 minutes after you've taken the pill.
  • Stay sitting or standing for at least 60 minutes after you take the pill.
  • If you have pain with swallowing around your chest or stomach, new or worsening heartburn, or any pain around your hips, thighs, or jaw, tell your doctor right away.
  • Take the 150 mg tablet on the same day every month. If you forget to take the 150 mg tablet on your chosen day each month, take it on the next day in the morning.
  • Keep taking your calcium and vitamin D.
Learn more
More about ActonelSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Actonel (risedronate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about BonivaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Boniva (ibandronate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it