Compare Boniva vs. Nolvadex

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

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Boniva (ibandronate)

Prescription only

Nolvadex (Tamoxifen)

Prescription only
Prevents bone loss.

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.

2.9/ 5 average rating with 64 reviewsforBoniva
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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Injection
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
64 reviews so far
31%
saidit'sworth it
20%
saiditworked well
27%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
22possible side effects
  • Abdominal pain
    8%
  • High blood pressure
    6%
  • Indigestion
    6%
  • Joint pain
    6%
  • Nausea
    5%
  • Diarrhea
    5%
  • Back pain
    5%
  • Constipation
    4%
  • Pain in arms or legs
    4%
  • Flu
    4%
  • Cold
    4%
  • Localized joint stiffness and pain
    3%
  • Bronchitis
    3%
  • Headache
    3%
  • Influenza-like illness
    3%
  • Muscle pain
    2%
  • Muscle cramp
    2%
  • Urinary tract infection
    2%
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
    2%
  • Dizziness
    2%
  • Rash
    2%
  • Sleep difficulty
    2%
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 to the stomach and esophagus
    • 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
  • Pain in the bones and/or muscles
  • Problems in the jawbone
    • Oral or dental surgery
    • Cancer
    • Poor oral hygiene
    • Prolonged use of Boniva (ibandronate)
  • 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