Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Actonel

(Risedronate)

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Prevents bone loss.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ bottom line

Actonel (Risedronate) is a first-choice treatment for osteoporosis and is available as a generic, but how you have to take it can be a hassle.

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  • Available in generic.
  • Available in oral tablets that can be taken once or twice a month, once a week, or once a day.
  • You have to take it first thing in the morning with a full glass of water.
  • You have to remain upright for at least 30 minutes after you take the medication, which can be a problem if you have mobility issues.

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Side effects for Actonel (Risedronate)

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These are side effects of Actonel (Risedronate) reported to the FDA by people taking it, and by doctors and pharmacists.

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What to expect when you take Actonel (Risedronate)

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • If you're taking the fast release medication, take it first thing when you wake up by swallowing the whole pill with a full glass of water.
  • Don't eat or drink anything for 30 minutes after you've taken the fast release medication.
  • If you're taking the extended release medication, take it after your first meal of the day with at least a half cup of water.
  • Stay sitting or standing and Don't take any other medications, vitamins or supplements for at least 30 minutes after you take the medication.
  • If you have pain with swallowing, around your chest or stomach, or new or worsening heartburn, talk to your doctor.
  • Call your doctor if you develop pain in your jaw, hips or thighs.
  • Keep taking your calcium and vitamin D.
  • If you forget to take your dose, skip it and take it the following morning.
  • Some of these medications are only taken once or twice a month, others are taken once a week and others once a day. Talk to your pharmacist if you're not sure.
  • Consider adding weight-bearing exercises as part of your exercise routine.

Risks and Warnings for Actonel (Risedronate)

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  • People on Actonel (Risedronate) have reported irritation to the stomach and esophagus to the point of ulcers. It is very important to remain standing or sitting upright for at least 30 minutes after you take the medication to help stop this from happening, and to take this first thing in the morning when you wake up with a full glass of plain water. 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 abdomen while taking this medication.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Actonel (Risedronate)

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The FDA category for this medication is C. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
Pregnancy
Food
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • If you're taking the extended release medication, take it after your first meal of the day with at least a half cup of water.
Weight gain or loss
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Consider adding weight-bearing exercises as part of your exercise routine.