Fosamax vs. calcitonin

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Prevents bone loss. Fosamax (Alendronate) is a first-choice treatment for osteoporosis and is available as a generic, but taking it can be a hassle.Coming soon.
How it works
Fosamax (Alendronate) 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.Coming soon.
Type of medication
BisphosphonatePrescription only
Coming soon.
Available as
  • Pill
  • Effervescent tablet
  • Liquid
  • Nasal spray
Used for (click to learn more)
  • Hypercalcemia Paget's disease Postmenopausal osteoporosis
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
Reviews for Fosamax (Alendronate)
of people say Fosamax (Alendronate) is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle
Side effects

We haven’t found good data for Fosamax side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Fosamax »

We haven’t found good data for calcitonin side effects.

FDA side effect reports for calcitonin »
Risk factors for serious side effects
      • Oral or dental surgery
      • Cancer
      • Poor oral hygiene
          Detailed Fosamax (Alendronate) risks & warnings »
          Coming soon.
          Pregnancy category
          No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
          No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
          Kidneys and liver
          No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
          No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
          No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
          No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
          Upsides and benefits
          • Lowers your risk of bone fractures.
          • Available as a generic medication.
          • Available in two forms: one that can be taken once a day or another that's taken once a week.
          • Comes as a regular tablet, an oral solution, or effervescent tablets meant to be dissolved in water.
          Coming soon.
          Downsides and risks
          • You need to take it the first thing in the morning with a full glass of water.
          • Not good for people who can't sit or stand upright for at least 30 minutes in the morning.
          • The use of bisphosphonates increases your risk of other types of fractures not related to osteoporosis (called atypical fractures).
          • Can cause bad heartburn or stomach problems.
          Coming soon.
          Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
          • Take Fosamax (Alendronate) first thing in the morning with a full glass of water before eating or drinking anything else, including other medicines.
          • The pill must be swallowed whole.
          • Stay upright for at least 30 minutes after taking the medicine, and don't eat or drink anything except plain water during that time.
          • Make sure you take enough calcium and vitamin D to allow this medicine to work.
          • Can cause an upset stomach, joint pain, back pain, or heartburn.
          • Stop taking the medicine and let your doctor know if swallowing becomes painful, if you have chest pain, or if any of the side effects worsen.
          • If you have dental work coming up, get it done before starting this medicine since some people have experienced serious jaw problems while on Fosamax (Alendronate).
          Coming soon.
          Learn more
          More about FosamaxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          More about calcitoninSide effectsFDA package insert