Compare Actonel vs. Prolia

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

Actonel (risedronate)

Prescription only

Prolia (Denosumab)

Prescription only
Prevents bone loss and fracture.

Actonel (risedronate) is a first-choice treatment for osteoporosis, but taking it can be a hassle.

2.9/ 5 average rating with 83 reviewsforActonel
Prevents bone loss.

Prolia (Denosumab) is an effective and convenient treatment for osteoporosis if other options haven’t worked or aren’t appropriate for you. There’re risks of some rare side effects, so make sure you're following up with your doctor regularly.

3.6/ 5 average rating with 15 reviewsforProlia
Upsides
  • Actonel (risedronate) is one of the first choice medicines used for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis.
  • Available in a cheaper, generic form.
  • Can take tablet form once or twice a month, once a week, or once a day.
  • Prolia (Denosumab) is effective at preventing bone loss, making your bones stronger and lowering your chance of getting a fracture.
  • Only need to get an injection every 6 months, so you don’t have to remember to take something every day.
Downsides
  • Need to take Actonel (risedronate) on an empty stomach first thing in the morning with a full glass of water.
  • Requires the person taking this medicine to remain upright for at least 30 minutes after taking it, which can be a problem for those who have trouble sitting or standing.
  • Approved for women only after they’ve reached menopause. Don’t use this if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
  • Can lower blood calcium levels. You might need to take calcium supplements to prevent this.
  • Not available as a generic.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Delayed-release pill
  • Injection
Price
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Reviews
83 reviews so far
36%
saidit'sworth it
19%
saiditworked well
25%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Actonel (risedronate)?

Leave a review
15 reviews so far
33%
saidit'sworth it
40%
saiditworked well
27%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Prolia (Denosumab)?

Leave a review
Side effects
33possible side effects
  • Infection
    31%
  • Back pain
    28%
  • Joint pain
    24%
  • Accidental injury
    17%
  • Generalized pain
    14%
  • Constipation
    13%
  • Stomach pain
    12%
  • Traumatic bone fracture
    12%
  • Flu-like symptoms
    11%
  • High blood pressure
    11%
  • Diarrhea
    11%
  • Indigestion
    11%
  • Nausea
    11%
  • Headache
    10%
  • Bronchitis
    10%
  • Urinary tract infection
    10%
  • Sinus infection
    9%
  • Swelling in the arms or legs
    8%
  • Joint problems
    7%
  • Muscle pain
    7%
  • Dizziness
    7%
  • Depression
    7%
  • Rash
    7%
  • Cataracts
    7%
  • Stuffy or runny nose
    6%
  • Sore throat
    6%
  • Increased cough
    6%
  • Weakness
    5%
  • Neck pain
    5%
  • Chest pain
    5%
  • Bone pain
    5%
  • Sleep difficulty
    5%
  • Allergic reaction
    4%
See more detailed side effects
27possible side effects
  • Back pain
    35%
  • Pain in extremity
    12%
  • Musculoskeletal pain
    8%
  • Hypercholesterolemia
    7%
  • Cystitis
    6%
  • Vertigo
    5%
  • Edema peripheral
    5%
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
    5%
  • Sciatica
    5%
  • Pneumonia
    4%
  • Bone pain
    4%
  • Anemia
    3%
  • Angina pectoris
    3%
  • Abdominal pain upper
    3%
  • Myalgia
    3%
  • Insomnia
    3%
  • Rash
    3%
  • Atrial fibrillation
    2%
  • Flatulence
    2%
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
    2%
  • Asthenia
    2%
  • Pharyngitis
    2%
  • Herpes zoster
    2%
  • Spinal osteoarthritis
    2%
  • Pruritus
    2%
  • Mortality
    2%
  • Adverse events
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Irritation and ulcers in the stomach and esophagus
    • 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
  • Pain in the bones and/or muscles
  • Problems in the jawbone
    • Oral or dental surgery
    • Cancer
    • Poor oral hygiene
  • Leg bone fractures
  • Low calcium in the blood
    • History of low calcium in the blood
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Leg bone fractures
    • Taking steroids
  • Hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions
  • Low calcium blood levels
    • Kidney problems
    • Not taking calcium supplements
    • Taking other medicines that can lower calcium blood levels
    • History of hypoparathyroidism (low levels of parathyroid hormone)
  • Infection
    • Weak immune system
    • Taking medicines that block your immune system (such as transplant medications or steroids)
  • Problems in the jaw bone
    • Oral or dental surgery
    • Cancer diagnosis
    • Taking steroids or chemotherapy
    • Poor oral hygiene
  • Pain in the bones and muscles
See more detailed risks and warnings