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What is Fosamax?

Fosamax is a prescription medication that is used to treat and prevent osteoporosis that is caused by menopause or steroid use and to treat Paget’s disease of bone. Fosamax contains alendronate and works by altering the bone formation in the body.

Make sure to always read the patient information and instructions before using this medication. Always follow your doctor’s directions.

  • Take Fosamax when you first wake up.
  • After taking this medication, do not eat, drink, or take any other medications for at least 30 minutes. Do not lie down or recline for 30 minutes.
  • If your doctor directs you to only take this medication weekly, take it on the same day each week.
  • Take Fosamax with a full glass of plain water.
  • Swallow alendronate whole without chewing, crushing, or sucking.
  • Brush your teeth thoroughly while taking this medication and tell your dentist that you take alendronate.

Cautions

Tell your doctor and pharmacist:

  • About your drug and other allergies.
  • If you take any other prescription or over-the-counter medications.
  • Your medical history particularly of esophagus problems, dental problems, digestion problems, stomach problems, kidney disease, any condition that causes malabsorption or low levels of calcium in the blood.
  • If you cannot sit or stand for 30 minutes.
  • If you have problems swallowing.
  • If you are pregnant or planning on pregnancy. Tell your doctor immediately if you become pregnant whole taking Fosamax.
  • If you are breast-feeding.

You should also know:

  • You should not drink large amounts of alcohol while taking this medication as this may cause bone loss.
  • Smoking can increase the risk of bone fractures. Avoid smoking or try to quit.

Side Effects of Fosamax

Common side effects of Fosamax include but are not limited to:

  • Bone, muscle, or joint pain.
  • Headaches.
  • Stomach pain, upset stomach, diarrhea, or constipation.
  • Nausea.

Get medical help if you have any of the following side effects of alendronate:

  • Severe joint, bone, or muscle pain.
  • Chest pain.
  • New or worsening heartburn.
  • Jaw pain, numbness, or swelling.
  • Painful or difficult swallowing.
  • Burning or pain under the ribs, in the back, upper stomach, thigh, hip, or groin.
  • Signs of low calcium levels including muscle spasms, contractions, numbness, or a tingly feeling around your mouth, in your fingers or in your toes.
  • Symptoms of an allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing, hives, or swelling in your face, lips, or throat.

FAQs

Can I drink alcohol while taking Fosamax?

You should avoid drinking large amounts of alcohol while taking Fosamax as this can cause bone loss. Speak to your doctor about a safe amount of alcohol.

What is the strength of Fosamax?

Both Fosamax and the generic alternative alendronate are available in strengths of 10mg and 70mg.

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