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Alendronate is a certain medication that is in the group of medications which are named bisphosphonates. Apart from this medication, there are other medications in this class like Etidronate, ibandronate, pamidronate, risedronate and tiludronate. Alendronate can be purchased in pharmacies but it is mainly prescribed to the patients. Fosamax is the brand name under which it can be found. Every medication in this class has the function of treating conditions like osteoporosis and bone pain that occurred due to certain diseases. Some of the diseases that cause pain which can be treated include metastatic breast cancer, multiple myeloma and Paget’s disease.

Alendronate for postmenstrual women with osteoporosis

The bones change all the time and new bones are laid down and old bones are removed. Osteoblasts are the cells that have the function of laying down new bones. The name of the cells that are responsible for the removal of old bones is osteoclasts. A class of medications called bisphosphonates makes the bones a lot stronger. However, the bones become a lot weaker and more prone to breaking after menopause. Both of these effects lead to a certain condition called osteoporosis. This is one of the main reasons why patients are prescribed with Alendronate because this medication betters the density of the bone and reduces the risk of fractures. Alendronate was allowed to be used since September 1995, when it was approved by the FDA.

This medication is available for use in two forms, in form of tablets and solution. It is vital that both of these forms are kept in a room temperature and not frozen. Both men and women are prescribed with Alendronate. However, women usually do not have the need for it before menopause occurs. Patients who are diagnoses with Paget’s disease of the bone benefit a lot from this medication as well and so do those who suffer from osteoporosis due to steroid treatment.

According to the doctors, those who treat osteoporosis with Alendronate should take between 5 and 10 mg per day. Paget’s disease patients need to take 40 mg but once per day. The taking of this medication for Paget’s disease usually lasts for a period of half a year. Certain foods, vitamins and other medications can interact with Alendronate and that is why the doctors always advise the patients not to take any of it half an hour before taking the medication. Alendronate must not be chewed and it should always be taken with a glass of water, first thing in the morning. It is essential not to lie down for a period of half an hour after taking the tablet or solution of Alendronate. According to the doctors, calcium supplements can reduce the absorption of this medication. That is another reason why these supplements should not be taken at least half an hour before taking the medication. There were no studies done on whether Alendronate affects pregnant or nursing women.

Side effects of Alendronate

Not every person can take Alendronate and the doctor needs to be informed if someone is allergic to any of the ingredients in Alendronate or has any kind of esophagus problems or is unable to stand or at least sit in an upright position for half an hour. Kidney problems and low blood calcium levels can also interfere with the taking of this medication.

Corticosteroids and Aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs should not be taken if the patient is prescribed with Alendronate. The main reason is because in both cases the risk of certain side effects is a lot higher. These are not the only medications that Alendronate can interact with so the patient should mention to the doctor if he or she is on some medications.

This medication must be taken in the way in which the doctor has explained and the label says. The tablet should be swallowed whole and not crushed or chewed. It is essential not to take the medicine before going to bed in the evening and to take it only with clear water. Coffee, tea and even mineral water are out of the question. In situations when the patient has missed a dose, he or she should simply go to the next one. Not taking two doses within one day is vital.

Alendronate can cause certain side effect and they are not uncommon. Dizziness is probably the most often seen side effect and it can even be felt a lot worse if the patient uses alcohol at the same time as taking Alendronate. The doctor will inform the patient about the dietary and exercise program that should be followed for as long as he or she is taking the medicine. Jawbone problems can occur as well especially is the patient suffers from cancer or his or her dental hygiene is poor. Some of the other side effects that can be felt include constipation, diarrhea, headache, pain in the muscles and joints, severe allergic reactions, coughing or vomiting blood, swollen skin and swelling of the extremities, among other side effects. It is essential that the doctor is contacted as soon as any of the side effects is seen.

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