Fosamax

(alendronate)

3.2/ 5 average rating with 169 reviewsforFosamax
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Prevents bone loss.

Skip Upsides & Downsides section. Skip to side effects section.

Our bottom line

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

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  • Lowest price with coupon
    $208.74
Quick facts about Fosamax
  • Drug class: Musculoskeletal
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (alendronate)

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.
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What to expect from Fosamax, on one page

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People’s experience with Fosamax

169reviews so far. What do you think?

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.
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What to expect from Fosamax, on one page

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How it works

Fosamax (alendronate) is a bisphosphonate, which inhibits bone breakdown.

Quick facts about Fosamax
  • Drug class: Musculoskeletal
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (alendronate)

Dosage forms

  • Pill
  • Effervescent tablet
  • Liquid
People’s experience with Fosamax

169reviews so far. What do you think?

Prices and coupons

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What to expect when you take Fosamax (alendronate) for Paget's disease

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  • First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
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  • Effectiveness
  • Starts to kick in
    Full effects
  • First few daysDays
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  • Possible side effects
  • Stomach pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle pain
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Side effect rates for Fosamax (alendronate)

From 6459 clinical trials of Fosamax when taken for postmenopausal osteoporosis (5 mg daily)
  • Abdominal pain
    2%2%
    2%2%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
Where we got our data »

The placebo bar shows how common a side effect was for people taking a sugar pill instead of Fosamax.

Fosamax (alendronate)
Placebo

People taking Fosamax felt side effect more

People taking Fosamax felt side effect less

No difference

Risks and Warnings for Fosamax (alendronate)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • 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

    Fosamax (alendronate) can irritate the stomach and esophagus and cause ulcers. It is very important to remain standing or sitting upright for at least 30 minutes after you take the medicine to prevent this from happening. 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 while swallowing, or pain around the middle of your chest or abdomen while taking this medication.

Pharmacist Q&A

Fosamax (alendronate) questions for

Frequently Asked Questions

This medication prevents osteoporosis in women who have already gone through menopause.

Who is this drug for?

This medication prevents osteoporosis in women who have already gone through menopause.

Common concerns from people taking Fosamax (alendronate)

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Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Tip: Always talk with your doctor before you take any medication while pregnant.
FDA pregnancy category for Fosamax
CWeigh risks vs. benefits
Pain
  • Fosamax (alendronate) can cause bone and muscle pain. However, this is very rare. Stop taking the medication and talk to your doctor if this happens to you.
  • Fosamax (alendronate) can cause fractures in the legs as a result of little or no force. This is rare. If you notice a new dull or aching pain in your hips or thighs, talk to your doctor right away.
  • Not worth it
    Big hassle
    Reviewed Fosamaxon 9/6/2017Never take this stuff, I have felt like I have the flue for 3 weeks, I have joint and muscle and bone pain, stopped taking it 3 weeks ago and still have body, muscle and bone pain. Can stay in your systems up to 10 years. DO NOT TAKE!!!!!
    61
    Woman
    A couple weeks