Actonel

(risedronate)

2.9/ 5 average rating with 83 reviewsforActonel
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Prevents bone loss and fracture.

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Our bottom line

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

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  • Lowest price with coupon
    $67.35
Quick facts about Actonel
  • Drug class: Musculoskeletal
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (risedronate)

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.
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What to expect from Actonel, on one page

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People’s experience with Actonel

83reviews so far. What do you think?

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.
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What to expect from Actonel, on one page

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How it works

Actonel (risedronate) is a bisphosphonate. It slows down the activity of osteoclasts, which are the cells in our bodies that break down bone. The medicine helps maintain bone health and lower the possibility of fractures.

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

Dosage forms

  • Pill
  • Delayed-release pill
People’s experience with Actonel

83reviews so far. What do you think?

Prices and coupons

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What to expect when you take Actonel (risedronate) for Osteoporosis

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  • First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
    Long term
  • Effectiveness
  • Starts to kick in
    Full effects
  • First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
    Long term
  • Possible side effects
  • Back pain
  • Joint pain
  • Stomach pain
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Traumatic bone fracture
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Side effect rates for Actonel (risedronate)

From 3232 clinical trials of Actonel when taken for postmenopasual osteoporosis (5mg daily)
  • Infection
    31%31%
    30%30%
  • Back pain
    28%28%
    26%26%
  • Joint pain
    24%24%
    22%22%
  • Accidental injury
    17%17%
    17%17%
  • Generalized pain
    14%14%
    14%14%
  • Constipation
    13%13%
    13%13%
  • Stomach pain
    12%12%
    10%10%
  • Traumatic bone fracture
    12%12%
    9%9%
  • Flu-like symptoms
    11%11%
    12%12%
  • High blood pressure
    11%11%
    10%10%
  • Diarrhea
    11%11%
    11%11%
  • Indigestion
    11%11%
    11%11%
  • Nausea
    11%11%
    11%11%
  • Headache
    10%10%
    11%11%
  • Bronchitis
    10%10%
    10%10%
  • Urinary tract infection
    10%10%
    11%11%
  • Sinus infection
    9%9%
    9%9%
  • Swelling in the arms or legs
    8%8%
    9%9%
  • Joint problems
    7%7%
    5%5%
  • Muscle pain
    7%7%
    6%6%
  • Dizziness
    7%7%
    5%5%
  • Depression
    7%7%
    6%6%
  • Rash
    7%7%
    8%8%
  • Cataracts
    7%7%
    6%6%
  • Stuffy or runny nose
    6%6%
    5%5%
  • Sore throat
    6%6%
    5%5%
  • Increased cough
    6%6%
    6%6%
  • Weakness
    5%5%
    5%5%
  • Neck pain
    5%5%
    5%5%
  • Chest pain
    5%5%
    5%5%
  • Bone pain
    5%5%
    5%5%
  • Sleep difficulty
    5%5%
    5%5%
  • Allergic reaction
    4%4%
    6%6%
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 Actonel.

Actonel (risedronate)
Placebo

People taking Actonel felt side effect more

People taking Actonel felt side effect less

No difference

Risks and Warnings for Actonel (risedronate)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • 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

    Some people taking Actonel (risedronate) have had stomach and esophagus irritation, including ulcers. Take Actonel (risedronate) first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. It is very important to remain standing or sitting upright for at least 30 minutes after you take the medicine to help stop this from happening. 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 stomach while taking this medication.

Pharmacist Q&A

Actonel (risedronate) questions for

Frequently Asked Questions

This medication treats and prevents glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis.

Who is this drug for?

This medication treats and prevents glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis.

Common concerns from people taking Actonel (risedronate)

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Food
  • Although rare, breakdown of the jawbone has happened in people taking Actonel (risedronate). This is more likely to happen if you have oral or dental surgery, or if you have poor oral hygiene. If you notice pain or swelling in your jaw, talk to your doctor right away. Also, tell your surgeon that you are taking Actonel (risedronate) prior to any oral/dental procedures.
  • If you're taking the delayed-release form, take it immediately after breakfast with at least 4 ounces of plain water. Don't use mineral water.
Pain
  • Not worth it
    Big hassle
    Reviewed Actonelon 6/18/2017Not worth the pain. Ended up taking pain relief which I never uses prior to Actonel.
    61
    Woman
    A month or so
    Osteoporosis