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

Boniva (ibandronate) 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.


  • Available in generic.
  • Available in pills that can be taken by mouth once a month.
  • Also available as a shot given into your vein every 3 months.
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  • You have to take Boniva (ibandronate) 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 medicine, which can be a problem if you have mobility issues.
  • It is only approved to treat and prevent osteoporosis in women who have gone through menopause.
How it works

Boniva (ibandronate) is a bisphosphonate. It slows down osteoclasts, the cells that break down bone. This results in greater bone mass and lowers the possibility of fractures.

What to expect when you take Boniva (ibandronate) for Postmenopausal osteoporosis

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Side effect rates for Boniva (ibandronate)

396 From clinical trials of Boniva / Postmenopausal osteoporosis (150 mg- monthly)
  • Abdominal pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Joint pain
  • Indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Back pain
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Cold
  • Pain in arms or legs

Risks and Warnings for Boniva (ibandronate)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Taking with aspirin or other NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
    • History of ulcers, or other stomach or esophageal problems
    • History of difficulty swallowing
    • Unable to sit upright or stand for 60 minutes after taking the medicine

    Some people taking the pill form of Boniva (ibandronate) have had stomach and esophagus irritation, including ulcers. It is very important to remain standing or sitting upright for at least 60 minutes after you take the medicine to help stop this from happening. You also need to take it 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 with swallowing, or pain around the middle of your chest or stomach while taking this medication.

Common concerns from people taking Boniva (ibandronate)

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  • Although rare, breakdown of the jawbone has happened in people taking Boniva (ibandronate). This is more likely to happen if you have oral or dental surgery, or if you have poor oral hygiene. The risk might also increase the longer you take Boniva (ibandronate). If you notice pain or swelling in your jaw, talk to your doctor right away.
  • If you have pain with swallowing around your chest or stomach, new or worsening heartburn, or any pain around your hips, thighs, or jaw, tell your doctor right away.