Compare Fosamax vs. Boniva

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

Fosamax (alendronate)

Prescription only

Boniva (ibandronate)

Prescription only
Prevents bone loss.

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

3.2/ 5 average rating with 169 reviewsforFosamax
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.

2.9/ 5 average rating with 64 reviewsforBoniva
Upsides
  • First choice to treat osteoporosis
  • Lowers your risk of fractures due to osteoporosis.
  • Available generic.
  • Available as daily, weekly, or twice weekly dosing.
  • Comes as a regular tablet, an oral solution, or effervescent tablet.
  • 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
  • Can harm your esophagus if you don't remain upright for 30 minutes after taking it.
  • Not recommended for people who can't sit or stand upright for at least 30 minutes.
  • Can increase the risk of atypical fractures.
  • Can cause bad heartburn or stomach problems.
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Effervescent tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Injection
Price
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Reviews
169 reviews so far
43%
saidit'sworth it
30%
saiditworked well
19%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Fosamax (alendronate)?

Leave a review
64 reviews so far
31%
saidit'sworth it
20%
saiditworked well
27%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Boniva (ibandronate)?

Leave a review
Side effects
1possible side effects
  • Abdominal pain
    2%
See more detailed side effects
22possible side effects
  • Abdominal pain
    8%
  • High blood pressure
    6%
  • Indigestion
    6%
  • Joint pain
    6%
  • Nausea
    5%
  • Diarrhea
    5%
  • Back pain
    5%
  • Constipation
    4%
  • Pain in arms or legs
    4%
  • Flu
    4%
  • Cold
    4%
  • Localized joint stiffness and pain
    3%
  • Bronchitis
    3%
  • Headache
    3%
  • Influenza-like illness
    3%
  • Muscle pain
    2%
  • Muscle cramp
    2%
  • Urinary tract infection
    2%
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
    2%
  • Dizziness
    2%
  • Rash
    2%
  • Sleep difficulty
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Irritation and ulcers to the stomach and esophagus
    • Taking anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen, and naproxen
    • History of ulcers or stomach or esophageal conditions
    • Difficulty swallowing
    • Problems sitting or standing for at least 30 minutes
  • Pain in the bones and muscles
  • Problems in the jaw bone
    • Oral or dental surgery
    • Cancer
    • Poor oral hygiene
    • Prolonged use of Fosamax (alendronate)
  • Leg bone fractures
  • Low calcium in the blood
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Irritation and ulcers to the stomach and esophagus
    • 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
  • Pain in the bones and/or muscles
  • Problems in the jawbone
    • Oral or dental surgery
    • Cancer
    • Poor oral hygiene
    • Prolonged use of Boniva (ibandronate)
  • Leg bone fractures
  • Low calcium in the blood
    • History of low calcium in the blood
See more detailed risks and warnings