Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Musculoskeletal



Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Musculoskeletal
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Prevents bone loss.

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Our bottom line

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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  • 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.
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  • 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.
How it works

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.

What to expect when you take Actonel (risedronate) for Osteoporosis

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Side effect rates for Actonel (risedronate)

3232 From clinical trials of Actonel / Postmenopasual osteoporosis (5mg daily)
  • Infection
  • Back pain
  • Joint pain
  • Accidental injury
  • Generalized pain
  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Traumatic bone fracture
  • High blood pressure
  • Nausea

Risks and Warnings for Actonel (risedronate)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • 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

    Some people taking Actonel (risedronate) have had stomach and esophagus irritation, including ulcers. Take Actonel (risedronate) first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. It is very important to remain standing or sitting upright for at least 30 minutes after you take the medicine to help stop this from happening. Talk to your doctor if this will be a problem for you. Also, talk to your doctor if you notice new pain while swallowing, or pain around the middle of your chest or stomach while taking this medication.

Common concerns from people taking Actonel (risedronate)

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  • 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.
  • Talk to your doctor if you have pain with swallowing, pain in your chest or stomach, or new or worsening heartburn.