Fosamax Plus D

Generic Name: Cholecalciferol

  • What is Fosamax Plus D?

    Fosamax Plus D is used for the treatment of osteoporosis in women after menopause. It reduces the chance of having a hip or spinal break. It is also used to increase bone mass in men with osteoporosis. Fosamax Plus D contains alendronate sodium and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Fosamax Plus D provides a week's worth of vitamin D3. If you need even more vitamin D, your doctor may recommend additional vitamin D supplements.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Fosamax Plus D?

    Side effects affecting the esophagus or throat, such as inflammation, ulcers and erosions (occasionally with bleeding), have been reported in patients receiving treatment with Fosamax Plus D. The risk of these side effects appears to be greater in patients who lie down after taking this medication, those who fail to swallow this medication with the recommended full glass (6-8 oz) of water, or those who continue this medication even after developing symptoms of throat irritation. If you have chest pain, new or worsening heartburn, or have trouble or pain when you swallow, stop taking Fosamax Plus D and call your doctor.

    Tell your dentist that you are taking Fosamax Plus D before any kind of dental procedure. You may need to discontinue this medicine before invasive dental procedures.

    Improvement in bone density may be seen as early as 3 months after you start therapy with Fosamax Plus D even though you may not be able to see or feel and differences. You should take Fosamax Plus D exactly as directed to help make sure it works and to help lower the chance of problems in your esophagus.

    Fosamax Plus D should not be used to treat vitamin D deficiency. Fosamax Plus D is not a hormone.

    You should consider weight-bearing exercises as well as modifications of certain behaviors, such as cigarette smoking or excessive alcohol consumption.

  • Who should not take Fosamax Plus D?

    Do not take Fosamax Plus D if you have certain problems with your esophagus, cannot stand or sit upright for at least 30 minutes, have low levels of calcium in your blood, severe kidney disease, or if you are allergic to Fosamax Plus D or any of its ingredients. This medication should not be used in women before menopause.

    If you have low levels of calcium in your blood, your doctor must first correct this problem before starting Fosamax Plus D.

    Fosamax Plus D is not approved for use in children.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Fosamax Plus D?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Fosamax Plus D. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have or have had problems with swallowing, stomach or digestive problems, kidney problems, sarcoidosis, leukemia, lymphoma, are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • 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 dosage for osteoporosis in both men and women is one 70-milligram (mg)/2800 IU or one 70-mg/5800 IU tablet once weekly.

  • How should I take Fosamax Plus D?

    Take 1 tablet of Fosamax Plus D on the same day once a week. You should take the tablet after you get up for the day and before your first meal, drink, or other medicines or supplements. Fosamax Plus D only works on an empty stomach.

    Take Fosamax Plus D while you are sitting or standing up. Swallow the tablet with a full glass (6-8 oz) of plain water only. Do not take Fosamax Plus D with coffee or tea, juice, or any other beverage. Do not chew or suck on the tablet.

    After swallowing the tablet, wait at least 30 minutes before you lie down, your first meal or drink (except plain water), or before taking other medicines or supplements. It is important that you stay upright. You may sit, stand, or walk and do normal activities. You should not lie down until after your first meal of the day.

    For Fosamax Plus D to work, you must keep taking it as long as is instructed by your doctor.

    Talk to your doctor to determine if you need supplemental vitamin D or calcium if you are not getting enough from your diet.

  • What should I avoid while taking Fosamax Plus D?

    Do not eat, drink, or take other medicines or supplements before taking Fosamax Plus D. Wait for at least 30 minutes after taking Fosamax Plus D to eat, drink, or take other medicines or supplements.

    Do not lie down for at least 30 minutes after taking Fosamax Plus D. Do not lie down until after your first meal of the day.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Fosamax Plus D?

    If Fosamax Plus D 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 Fosamax Plus D with the following: antacids, aspirin, anticonvulsants, bile acid sequestrants (such as cholestyramine, colestipol), calcium supplements, cimetidine, mineral oils, olestra, orlistat, and thiazide diuretics.

  • What are the possible side effects of Fosamax Plus D?

    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: black or bloody bowel movements, bloating, bone, muscle, or joint pain, constipation, diarrhea, difficulty in swallowing, gas, headache, nausea, stomach pain, throat irritations or ulcers, vomiting

    Stop taking Fosamax Plus D and call your doctor right away if you experience chest pain, new or worsening heartburn, or trouble or pain when swallowing. Also call your doctor if you develop severe bone, muscle, or joint pain.

    Reaction symptoms may include: inflammation, irritation, ulcers of the esophagus (which may sometimes bleed)

  • Can I receive Fosamax Plus D if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Fosamax Plus D during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Talk with your doctor before taking this drug if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Fosamax Plus D?

    If you miss a dose, take only one Fosamax Plus D tablet on the morning after you remember. Do not take two tablets on the same day. Continue your usual schedule of one Fosamax Plus D tablet once a week on your chosen day.

  • How should I store Fosamax Plus D?

    Store at room temperature, away from moisture and light. You should keep the tablets in the original blister package until use.

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I'm Shereen A. Gharbia, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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