Compare Fosamax vs. Reclast

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

Fosamax
(Alendronate)

Reclast
(Zoledronate)

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.Prevents bone loss. Reclast (Zoledronate) is a first-choice treatment for osteoporosis and is available as a generic, but you have to see a doctor to get each dose.
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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 Reclast (Zoledronate)
28%
-15% worse vs. Fosamax (Alendronate)
28%
-2% worse vs. Fosamax (Alendronate)
36%
-17% worse vs. Fosamax (Alendronate)
Have you used Reclast (Zoledronate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
FosamaxReclast

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

FDA side effect reports for Fosamax »
  • Joint pain 4%
  • Fever 13%
  • High blood pressure 1%
  • Headache 4%
  • Muscle pain 8%
  • Pain in extremity 1%
  • Influenza-like illness 6%
  • Nausea 4%
  • Pain 20%
  • Acute phase reaction 20%
More Reclast side effects »
How it works
FosamaxReclast
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.Reclast (Zoledronate) 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
FosamaxReclast
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
FosamaxReclast
  • Pill
  • Effervescent tablet
  • Liquid
  • Injection
Used for
FosamaxReclast
Risk factors for serious side effects
FosamaxReclast
      • Oral or dental surgery
      • Cancer
      • Poor oral hygiene
          Detailed Fosamax (Alendronate) risks & warnings »
            • Oral or dental surgery
            • Cancer
            • Poor oral hygiene
                Detailed Reclast (Zoledronate) 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 real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

                Food
                FosamaxReclast
                • 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
                FosamaxReclast
                • 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
                FosamaxReclast
                • 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
                FosamaxReclast
                • 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.
                Learn more
                More about FosamaxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
                Have you used Fosamax (Alendronate)?
                Worth itNot sureNot worth it
                More about ReclastSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
                Have you used Reclast (Zoledronate)?
                Worth itNot sureNot worth it