Compare Boniva vs. Actonel

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

Boniva
(ibandronate)

Actonel
(risedronate)

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.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.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
3.81Boniva
Reviews for Boniva
31%
of people (All ages) say Boniva is worth it
20%
say it works well
27%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Boniva (ibandronate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Actonel
36%
-5% worse vs. Boniva
19%
+1% better vs. Boniva
25%
-2% worse vs. Boniva
Have you used Actonel (risedronate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
BonivaActonel
  • 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 »
  • Infection 1%
  • Back pain 2%
  • Joint pain 2%
  • Stomach pain 2%
  • Traumatic bone fracture 3%
  • High blood pressure 1%
More Actonel side effects »
How it works
BonivaActonel
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.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.
Type of medication
BonivaActonel
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
BonivaActonel
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Pill
Used for
BonivaActonel
Risk factors for serious side effects
BonivaActonel
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
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
BonivaActonel
  • 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.
  • 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.
Pain
BonivaActonel
  • 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.
  • Talk to your doctor if you have pain with swallowing, pain in your chest or stomach, or new or worsening heartburn.
Upsides and benefits
BonivaActonel
  • 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.
  • 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.
Downsides and risks
BonivaActonel
  • 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.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
BonivaActonel
  • 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.
  • 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.
Learn more
More about BonivaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Boniva (ibandronate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ActonelSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Actonel (risedronate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it