Compare Fosamax vs. Nolvadex

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

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Fosamax (alendronate)

Prescription only

Nolvadex (Tamoxifen)

Prescription only
Prevents bone loss.

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

3.2/ 5 average rating with 169 reviewsforFosamax
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
  • First choice to treat osteoporosis
  • Lowers your risk of fractures due to osteoporosis.
  • Available generic.
  • Available as daily, weekly, or twice weekly dosing.
  • Comes as a regular tablet, an oral solution, or effervescent tablet.
  • 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
  • Can harm your esophagus if you don't remain upright for 30 minutes after taking it.
  • Not recommended for people who can't sit or stand upright for at least 30 minutes.
  • Can increase the risk of atypical fractures.
  • Can cause bad heartburn or stomach problems.
  • 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
  • Effervescent tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
Lowest price
$1144.29
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Reviews
169 reviews so far
43%
saidit'sworth it
30%
saiditworked well
19%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
1possible side effects
  • Abdominal pain
    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 anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen, and naproxen
    • History of ulcers or stomach or esophageal conditions
    • Difficulty swallowing
    • Problems sitting or standing for at least 30 minutes
  • Pain in the bones and muscles
  • Problems in the jaw bone
    • Oral or dental surgery
    • Cancer
    • Poor oral hygiene
    • Prolonged use of Fosamax (alendronate)
  • Leg bone fractures
  • 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