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, but taking it can be a hassle.Prevents bone loss. Reclast (zoledronate) is a good choice for osteoporosis if you aren't able to take bisphosphonates by mouth. It is available as a generic, but you have to see a doctor to get each dose.
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Best available price for 1 (4 tablets of 70mg) dose pack of alendronate
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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
  • 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 »
  • Joint pain 4%
  • Fever 13%
  • High blood pressure 1%
  • Muscle aches 8%
  • Headache 4%
  • Pain in arms or legs 1%
  • Nausea 4%
  • Influenza-like illness 6%
  • Pain 20%
More Reclast side effects »
How it works
FosamaxReclast
Fosamax (alendronate) is a bisphosphonate, which inhibits bone breakdown.Reclast (zoledronate) is a bisphosphonate. It slows down 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
  • 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 »
  • Oral or dental surgery
  • Cancer
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Low parathyroid hormone
  • History of thyroid surgery
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
No food related info.
  • People on Reclast (zoledronate) have had breakdown of the jawbone. However, it is rare. It is more likely to happen if you have oral or dental surgery, or if you have poor oral hygiene. If you notice pain or swelling in your jaw, talk to your doctor right away. Also, before any oral/dental procedure, tell your surgeon that you are taking Reclast (zoledronate).
Kidneys and liver
FosamaxReclast
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • It can't be used if you have really poor kidney function.
  • Reclast (zoledronate) can cause kidney injury, especially in people who already have problems with their kidneys. It is important that you get blood tests done before each dose to measure your kidney function. Reclast (zoledronate) shouldn’t be used in people who have very poor kidney function.
Pain
FosamaxReclast
  • 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.
  • Joint pain and muscle pain are common side effects after the infusion.
Upsides and benefits
FosamaxReclast
  • 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.
  • Depending on what you're using it for, you may only need to take it as a one-time dose, or every 1 to 2 years.
Downsides and risks
FosamaxReclast
  • 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 go to your doctor's office or an infusion center to get each dose by IV infusion.
  • It can't be used if you have really poor kidney function.
  • Joint pain and muscle pain are common side effects after the infusion.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
FosamaxReclast
  • 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.
  • Eat normally and drink at least 2 glasses of liquid before your infusion.
  • You can take acetaminophen (Tylenol) to lower fever and chills from the infusion.
  • Talk to your doctor if you develop swelling, pain, or soreness in your jaw.
  • Call your doctor if you develop pain in your hips, thighs, or legs.
  • 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 medicine.
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