Compare Fosamax vs. Boniva

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

Fosamax
(alendronate)

Boniva
(ibandronate)

Prevents bone loss. Fosamax (alendronate) is a first-choice treatment for osteoporosis, 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.
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Coupons for Fosamax
Best available price for 1 (4 tablets of 70mg) dose pack of alendronate
Coupons for Boniva
Best available price for 1 (3 tablets of 150mg) dose pack of ibandronate
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.27Fosamax
Reviews for Fosamax (alendronate)
43%
of people (All ages) say Fosamax (alendronate) is worth it
30%
say it works well
19%
say it's a big hassle
169 reviews
Have you used Fosamax (alendronate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Boniva (ibandronate)
31%
-12% worse vs. Fosamax (alendronate)
20%
-10% worse vs. Fosamax (alendronate)
27%
-8% worse vs. Fosamax (alendronate)
Have you used Boniva (ibandronate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
FosamaxBoniva
  • Abdominal pain 2%
  • Bone, muscle or joint pain 1%
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Gas 2%
  • Headache 1%
  • Constipation 1%
  • Ulcer in esophagus 2%
More Fosamax 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
FosamaxBoniva
Fosamax (alendronate) is a bisphosphonate, which inhibits bone breakdown.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
FosamaxBoniva
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
FosamaxBoniva
  • Pill
  • Effervescent tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Injection
Used for
FosamaxBoniva
Risk factors for serious side effects
FosamaxBoniva
  • 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
  • Oral or dental surgery
Detailed Fosamax (alendronate) 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
FosamaxBoniva
No food related info.
  • 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
FosamaxBoniva
  • Fosamax (alendronate) can cause bone and muscle pain. However, this is very rare. Stop taking the medication and talk to your doctor if this happens to you.
  • Fosamax (alendronate) can cause fractures in the legs as a result of little or no force. This is rare. If you notice a new dull or aching pain in your hips or thighs, talk to your doctor right away.
  • 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
FosamaxBoniva
  • 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 and risks
FosamaxBoniva
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
FosamaxBoniva
  • Take first thing in the morning with a full glass of water.
  • Avoid eating or drinking for 30 minutes after taking Fosamax (alendronate).
  • Remain upright for 30 minutes after taking Fosamax (alendronate).
  • Talk to your doctor if you develop pain around jaw, throat, chest, abdomen, hips or thighs.
  • Let your doctor know if you have any major dental procedures coming up. You may need to temporarily stop taking Fosamax (alendronate).
  • Dissolve the effervescent tablet in 4 ounces of plain water. When solution stops fizzing, wait 5 minutes before stirring for 10 seconds and drinking.
  • 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 FosamaxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Fosamax (alendronate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about BonivaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Boniva (ibandronate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it