Compare Prolia vs. Actonel

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

Prolia
(denosumab)

Actonel
(risedronate)

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.Prevents bone loss. Actonel (risedronate) is a first-choice treatment for osteoporosis and is available as a generic, but taking it can be a hassle.
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Coupons for Prolia
Best available price for 1 (1ml of 60mg/ml) syringe of prolia
Coupons for Actonel
Best available price for 1 (1 tablet of 150mg) dose pack of actonel
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.87Prolia
Reviews for Prolia
33%
of people (All ages) say Prolia is worth it
40%
say it works well
27%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Prolia (denosumab)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Actonel
36%
-3% worse vs. Prolia
19%
+21% better vs. Prolia
25%
-2% worse vs. Prolia
Have you used Actonel (risedronate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ProliaActonel
  • Pain in extremity 1%
  • Hypercholesterolemia 1%
  • Ankle and leg swelling 1%
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection 1%
  • Sciatica 1%
More Prolia side effects »
  • Infection 1%
  • Back pain 2%
  • Joint pain 2%
  • Stomach pain 2%
  • Traumatic bone fracture 3%
  • High blood pressure 1%
More Actonel side effects »
How it works
ProliaActonel
Prolia (Denosumab) is a monoclonal antibody. It blocks a protein that sends signals to break down your bones, and therefore prevents bone loss.Actonel (risedronate) is a bisphosphonate. It slows down osteoclasts, which are the cells that break down bone. This results in greater bone mass, and lowers the possibility of fractures.
Type of medication
ProliaActonel
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ProliaActonel
  • Injection
  • Pill
Used for
ProliaActonel
Risk factors for serious side effects
ProliaActonel
  • Taking steroids
  • Kidney problems
  • Not taking calcium supplements
  • Taking other medicines that can lower calcium blood levels
  • History of hypoparathyroidism (low levels of parathyroid hormone)
Detailed Prolia (denosumab) risks & warnings »
  • History of ulcers, or other stomach or esophageal problems
  • History of difficulty swallowing
  • Unable to sit upright or stand for 30 minutes after taking the medicine
  • Oral or dental surgery
  • Cancer
Detailed Actonel (risedronate) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with real people or animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. If you’re pregnant, the risks to your unborn baby outweigh the benefits.

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.

Food
ProliaActonel
No food related info.
  • Although rare, breakdown of the jawbone has happened in people taking Actonel (risedronate). This 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, tell your surgeon that you are taking Actonel (risedronate) prior to any oral/dental procedures.
Pain
ProliaActonel
  • Can cause skin irritation, joint pain, limb pain, and back pain.
  • Talk to your doctor if you have pain with swallowing, pain in your chest or stomach, or new or worsening heartburn.
Upsides and benefits
ProliaActonel
  • 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.
  • Actonel (risedronate) is one of the first choice medicines to treat osteoporosis.
  • It is available in generic.
  • It is available in tablets that can be taken by mouth once or twice a month, once a week, or once a day.
Downsides and risks
ProliaActonel
  • 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.
  • You have to take Actonel (risedronate) first thing in the morning with a full glass of water.
  • You have to remain upright for at least 30 minutes after you take it, which can be a problem if you have trouble moving.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ProliaActonel
  • Remember to get your shot every 6 months. Write it down on your calendar.
  • If your doctor also told you to take calcium and vitamin D, remember to take them as well. They'll work with Prolia (Denosumab) to help protect your bones.
  • Can cause skin irritation, joint pain, limb pain, and back pain.
  • Let your doctor know if you start getting more infections.
  • Let your dentist know that you’re taking Prolia (Denosumab) since it can cause problems in the jaw bone after dental procedures.
  • If you're taking the immediate release medicine, take it first thing when you wake up by swallowing the whole pill with a full glass of water.
  • Remain sitting or standing, and don't take any other medications, vitamins, or supplements for at least 30 minutes after you take Actonel (risedronate).
  • If you forget to take your dose, skip it and take it the following morning.
  • Keep taking your calcium and vitamin D.
  • Talk to your doctor if you have pain with swallowing, pain in your chest or stomach, or new or worsening heartburn.
  • If you develop pain in your jaw, hips, or thighs, call your doctor.
Learn more
More about ProliaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Prolia (denosumab)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ActonelSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Actonel (risedronate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it