Compare Actonel vs. Nolvadex

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

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Actonel (risedronate)

Prescription only

Nolvadex (Tamoxifen)

Prescription only
Prevents bone loss and fracture.

Actonel (risedronate) is a first-choice treatment for osteoporosis, but taking it can be a hassle.

2.9/ 5 average rating with 83 reviewsforActonel
Lowers risk of and treats breast cancer.

Nolvadex (Tamoxifen) is an effective, first-line option for certain types of breast cancers, but it has many severe side effects and needs a lot of monitoring.

Upsides
  • Actonel (risedronate) is one of the first choice medicines used for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis.
  • Available in a cheaper, generic form.
  • Can take tablet form once or twice a month, once a week, or once a day.
  • In studies, postmenopausal women who were at high risk for breast cancer took Nolvadex (Tamoxifen) for 5 years and lowered their risk by about 50%.
  • Nolvadex (Tamoxifen) is the only medicine approved to lower risk of breast cancer regardless of menopausal status. Other medicines are approved only for postmenopausal women.
  • Effective in treating metastatic breast cancer in men and women.
  • Available in both tablets and a sugar-free solution.
Downsides
  • Need to take Actonel (risedronate) on an empty stomach first thing in the morning with a full glass of water.
  • Requires the person taking this medicine to remain upright for at least 30 minutes after taking it, which can be a problem for those who have trouble sitting or standing.
  • If you're taking Nolvadex (Tamoxifen) to lower your risk for breast cancer, it can raise your risk of having a stroke or getting a blood clot, especially if you have a history of blood clots or you're currently taking a blood thinner, like warfarin. Tell your doctor about any health conditions before you start taking Nolvadex (Tamoxifen).
  • Can raise the risk of fractures in premenopausal women.
  • There are many drug interactions, including antidepressants and other chemotherapy (anti-cancer) medicines. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before making any changes.
  • Requires regular blood tests and doctor exams to monitor for side effects.
  • Not the best choice if you have eye or liver problems.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Delayed-release pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
83 reviews so far
36%
saidit'sworth it
19%
saiditworked well
25%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
33possible side effects
  • Infection
    31%
  • Back pain
    28%
  • Joint pain
    24%
  • Accidental injury
    17%
  • Generalized pain
    14%
  • Constipation
    13%
  • Stomach pain
    12%
  • Traumatic bone fracture
    12%
  • Flu-like symptoms
    11%
  • High blood pressure
    11%
  • Diarrhea
    11%
  • Indigestion
    11%
  • Nausea
    11%
  • Headache
    10%
  • Bronchitis
    10%
  • Urinary tract infection
    10%
  • Sinus infection
    9%
  • Swelling in the arms or legs
    8%
  • Joint problems
    7%
  • Muscle pain
    7%
  • Dizziness
    7%
  • Depression
    7%
  • Rash
    7%
  • Cataracts
    7%
  • Stuffy or runny nose
    6%
  • Sore throat
    6%
  • Increased cough
    6%
  • Weakness
    5%
  • Neck pain
    5%
  • Chest pain
    5%
  • Bone pain
    5%
  • Sleep difficulty
    5%
  • Allergic reaction
    4%
See more detailed side effects
21possible side effects
  • Hot Flashes
    65%
  • Flush
    33%
  • Fluid Retention
    32%
  • Vaginal Discharge
    30%
  • Nausea
    26%
  • Irregular Menses
    25%
  • Weight Loss (>5%)
    23%
  • Skin Changes
    19%
  • Amenorrhea
    16%
  • Altered Menses
    13%
  • Oligomenorrhea
    9%
  • Bone Pain
    6%
  • Menstrual Disorder
    6%
  • Thrombocytopenia
    5%
  • Cough/Coughing
    4%
  • Edema
    4%
  • Fatigue
    4%
  • Muscoloskeletal Pain
    3%
  • Pain
    3%
  • Ovarian Cyst(s)
    3%
  • Depression
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Irritation and ulcers in the stomach and esophagus
    • 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
  • Pain in the bones and/or muscles
  • Problems in the jawbone
    • Oral or dental surgery
    • Cancer
    • Poor oral hygiene
  • Leg bone fractures
  • Low calcium in the blood
    • History of low calcium in the blood
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Serious and life-threatening events
  • Harm to fetus
    • Women of childbearing age
  • Increased risk of vision changes
  • Worsening liver function
    • Current liver problems
  • Blood disorders
See more detailed risks and warnings