Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Boniva

(Ibandronate)

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Prevents bone loss.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ bottom line

Boniva is a first-choice treatment for osteoporosis and is available as a generic, but how you have to take it can be a hassle. It's also only approved for women, not men.

Worth it?Is it worth it?
Works well?Does it work?
Hassle?Is it a hassle?
  • Available in generic.
  • Available in oral tablets that can be given once a month or once a day.
  • Also available as shot given into your vein every 3 months.
  • You have to take it first thing in the morning with a full glass of water.
  • You have to remain upright for at least 60 minutes after you take the medication, which can be a problem if you have mobility issues.
  • Only approved to treat and prevent osteoporosis in women who have gone through menopause.

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Side effects for Boniva (Ibandronate)

From clinical trials of Boniva / Any condition (2.5 mg) ( 2274)

  • Upper respiratory infectionUpper respiratory infection33% for Boniva vs.34% for placebo
  • Any serious side effectAny serious side effect23% for Boniva vs.20% for placebo
  • Back painBack pain12% for Boniva vs.14% for placebo
  • IndigestionIndigestion10% for Boniva vs.12% for placebo
  • IndigestionIndigestion7% for Boniva vs.0% for placebo
  • BronchitisBronchitis7% for Boniva vs.10% for placebo
  • High blood pressureHigh blood pressure7% for Boniva vs.0% for placebo
  • Pain in extremityPain in extremity6% for Boniva vs.8% for placebo
  • HeadacheHeadache6% for Boniva vs.7% for placebo
  • NauseaNausea5% for Boniva vs.0% for placebo

What to expect when you take Boniva (Ibandronate)

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Can be taken as a tablet or as an intravenous infusion.
  • Take the tablet first thing when you wake up by swallowing the whole pill with a full glass of plain water.
  • Don't eat or drink anything for 60 minutes after you've taken the tablet.
  • Stay sitting or standing, and Don't take any other medications, vitamins or supplements for at least 60 minutes after you take the tablet until you've had your first food of the day.
  • If you have pain with swallowing, around your chest or stomach, or new or worsening heartburn, talk to your doctor.
  • Take the 150 mg tablet on the same day every month.
  • If you forget to take the 150mg tablet on your chosen day each month, take it on the next day in the morning.
  • Call your doctor if you develop pain in your jaw, hips or thighs.
  • Keep taking your calcium and vitamin D.
  • Some of these medications are only taken once a month, 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 Boniva (Ibandronate)

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  • People on the oral version of Boniva (Ibandronate) 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 Boniva (Ibandronate)

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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
  • Stay sitting or standing, and Don't take any other medications, vitamins or supplements for at least 60 minutes after you take the tablet until you've had your first food of the day.
Weight gain or loss
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Consider adding weight-bearing exercises as part of your exercise routine.