› People on Fosamax (Alendronate) have reported breakdown of the jaw bone. This is rare. This can happen if you have oral or dental surgery, or if you have poor oral hygiene. If you notice pain, swelling or an infection in your jaw, talk to your doctor right away. Also, tell your surgeon that you are taking Fosamax (Alendronate).
› People on Reclast (Zoledronate) have reported breakdown of the jaw bone. This is rare. This can happen if you have oral or dental surgery, or if you have poor oral hygiene. If you notice pain, swelling or an infection in your jaw, talk to your doctor right away. Also, tell your surgeon that you are taking Reclast (Zoledronate).
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.
› Available in generic.
› You only have to take this once a year.
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.
› You have to go to your doctor's office or an infusion center to get each dose by IV infusion.
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).
› Given as an intravenous infusion.
› Eat normally and drink at least two glasses of liquid before your infusion.
› Talk to your doctor if you develop swelling, pain, or a sore in your jaw.
› Call your doctor if you develop pain in your hips, thighs or legs.
› You can take acetaminophen (Tylenol) to lower fever and chills from the infusion.
› If you have to have dental or oral surgery, tell your surgeon that you're taking this medication.
› Drink plenty of liquids while you're on this medication.