Risedronate, generic Actonel, tablets and delayed-release (long-acting tablets) are used to prevent and treat osteoporosis (a condition in which the bones become thin and weak and break easily) in women who have undergone menopause (''change of life,'' end of menstrual periods). Risedronate tablets are also used to treat osteoporosis in men, and in men and women who are taking glucocorticoids (a type of corticosteroid medication that may cause osteoporosis). Risedronate tablets are also used to treat Paget's disease of bone (a condition in which the bones are soft and weak and may be deformed, painful, or easily broken). Risedronate is in a class of medications called bisphosphonates. It works by preventing bone breakdown and increasing bone density (thickness).
Risedronate comes as a tablet and a delayed-release tablet to take by mouth. The delayed-release tablets are usually taken once a week in the morning, immediately after breakfast. The tablets are usually taken on an empty stomach once a day in the morning, once a week in the morning, once monthly in the morning, or once monthly for two mornings in a row depending on your condition and the dosage prescribed by your doctor. If you are taking risedronate once a week, once monthly, or once monthly for 2 days in a row, take it on the same day every week or month or the same 2 days in a row every month. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take risedronate exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often or for a longer period of time than prescribed by your doctor.