Compare Fosamax vs. Prolia

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

Fosamax (alendronate)

Prescription only

Prolia (Denosumab)

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.

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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Effervescent tablet
  • Liquid
  • 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
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
1possible side effects
  • Abdominal pain
    2%
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 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
  • 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