What is Actonel?Actonel is used to prevent and treat bone loss (osteoporosis) in postmenopausal women and to increase bone mass in men with the condition. Actonel is also used to prevent and treat osteoporosis caused by treatment with steroid drugs, such as prednisone and to treat Paget's disease of bone in men and women.
What is the most important information I should know about Actonel?Actonel may cause problems in your stomach and esophagus, such as trouble swallowing, heartburn, and ulcers.
You must follow the instructions exactly for Actonel to work and to lower the chance of serious side effects.
Adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D is important, and blood calcium levels should be corrected before starting therapy with Actonel.
Who should not take Actonel?Do not take Actonel if you are allergic to any of its ingredients, have low blood calcium levels (hypocalcemia), cannot stand or sit upright for at least 30 minutes, or have kidneys that work poorly. Also, do not take Actonel if you have problems of the esophagus.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Actonel?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Actonel. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney problems.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults: The recommended dose is one 35 milligtam (mg) tablet taken once a week, one 5-mg tablet taken daily, one 75-mg tablet taken on two consecutive days for a total of two tablets each month, or one 150-mg tablet taken once a month.
Bone Mass Increase in Men with Osteoporosis
Adults: The recommended dose is one 35-mg tablet taken once per week.
Steroid-Induced Osteoporosis (Prevention/Treatment)
Adults: The recommended dose is one 5-mg tablet taken daily.
Adults: The recommended dose is one 30-mg tablet taken once daily for two months. Retreatment may be necessary.
How should I take Actonel?Take Actonel first thing in the morning, at least 30 minutes before eating, or drinking anything except plain water, and taking vitamins, calcium, or antacids. Take Actonel while you are sitting up or standing with 6-8 oz (about 1 cup) of plain water. Do not take it with coffee, tea, juice, milk, or other dairy drinks. Swallow Actonel whole. Do not chew the tablet or keep it in your mouth to melt or dissolve.
What should I avoid while taking Actonel?Do not lie down for 30 minutes after taking the medication. Do not eat or drink anything except plain water before you take Actonel and for at least 30 minutes after you take it. Do not chew or suck on the tablet because it may irritate your mouth or throat.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Actonel?If Actonel is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Actonel with the following: aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), calcium supplements and antacids, H2-blockers and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), and hormone replacement therapy.
What are the possible side effects of Actonel?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: pain (back, chest, stomach, joints, muscles, bones), upset stomach, painful or difficulty swallowing, heartburn, ulcers in your stomach and esophagus, constipation, diarrhea, gas, headache, low calcium and other mineral disturbances, jaw bone problems (including infection and slower healing after teeth are pulled), short-lasting, mild flulike symptoms, allergic and severe skin reactions, eye inflammation (eye pain, redness, or sensitivity to light)
Can I receive Actonel if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?The effects of Actonel during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Actonel?If you miss a dose of your Actonel in the morning, do not take it later in the day. Take only one Actonel tablet the next morning and continue your usual schedule of one tablet a day. Do not take two tablets on the same day.
If you miss your once monthly dose contact your doctor or pharmacist for advise.
How should I store Actonel?Store at room temperature.
- Common Side Effects of AntidepressantsFind out about common and not-so-common side effects of antidepressants and how to manage them.
- How Drugs Can Lower CholesterolDiscover how cholesterol-lowering medications work in your body to bring your cholesterol numbers down to ideal levels.
- Do Over-the-Counter Proton-Pump Inhibitors Work?You might wonder why you need a prescription for GERD if many PPIs are available over the counter. Get the answers to this and other questions about OTC PPIs.