What is Sodium Alendronate?
Sodium Alendronate manufactured under the brand names Fosamax, Osteofos (by Cipla) among several other trade names worldwide is used to treat or prevent osteoporosis caused by menopause or by taking steroids (both men and women).
Sodium Alendronate medication changes the process of bone formation and breakdown in the body. It reduces bone loss while helping more bone mass production which may prevent bone fractures. This medication is also used to treat Paget’s disease of bone in both men and women.
Sodium Alendronate may also be given for conditions not listed above.
Important Information about Sodium Alendronate
Do not take Sodium Alendronate (Fosamax, Osteofos) medication if you are not able to sit upright or stand for at least half an hour. This medication may lead to serious problems in stomach or esophagus (the passage from your mouth to the stomach). You will have to stay upright for at least 30 minutes after taking Sodium Alendronate.
Bone loss in the jaw (osteonecrosis) has been observed in some people taking medications similar to Sodium Alendronate medicine (Osteofos). Symptoms of bone loss in jaw may include jaw pain, swelling, numbness, loose teeth, gum infection, or slow healing post injury or surgery involving gums. Your chances of developing osteonecrosis of the jaw increases greatly if you have cancer, or if you are taking chemotherapy, radiation, or steroids. Other conditions related to osteonecrosis of the jaw include anemia, or blood clotting disorders.
If you have a need to go to for dental work, especially surgery, tell the dentist about your Sodium Alendronate medication well in advance. You may have to suspend taking the medication for a short time.
Sodium Alendronate is not a single form of treatment for your bone loss condition. Your osteoporosis treatment may include a combination of diet, calcium, or vitamin D supplements, and weight control. Maintain these properly for best results.
Discuss about the risks and benefits of using Sodium Alendronate with your doctor.
Before taking Sodium Alendronate
Before taking Sodium Alendronate medication (Fosamax, Osteofos), keep in mind all the points mentioned above and discuss it with your doctor if necessary. If you are allergic to Sodium Alendronate, if you have hypocalcaemia (low levels of calcium), or issues with esophagus muscles movement, then don’t take this medication.
Let your doctor know, if you have any of these conditions before taking Sodium Alendronate for safe usage: swallowing difficulty, low Vitamin D level, dental problem, kidney disease, or an ulcer or stomach or esophagus problem.
How should I take Sodium Alendronate?
Take Sodium Alendronate medication (Fosamax, Osteofos) strictly as directed by your doctor. Don’t alter the dosage under any situation unless or otherwise advised by your doctor or you may witness dangerous effects of the medication.
Sodium Alendronate tablets are taken either once daily or once per week depending on person to person. Always follow your doctor’s prescription. Take this medication first thing in the morning, at least 30 minutes before you eat or drink anything or take any other medicine. If you are on a weekly course of Sodium Alendronate, then take it on the same day each week and always before eating or drinking anything in the morning.
Take each Sodium Alendronate tablet with a full glass of plain water (don’t use bottled or mineral water). Swallow the tablet whole avoiding chewing, crushing or sucking the tablet. After taking Sodium Alendronate medication, sit upright and don’t lie down or recline for at least 30 minutes; don’t eat or drink anything other than plain water; don’t take any other medications like vitamin and mineral supplements for at least 30 minutes. Ask your doctor for the best dosing schedule.
Your bone mineral density will be tested regularly to see if the Sodium Alendronate medication is having its proper effects. You may have to take this medication for a long period (3-5 years) if you take it for osteoporosis. Go for regular follow up checkups so that your progress can be reviewed properly.
Always store Sodium Alendronate medication in a cool and dry place.
What if I miss a dose of Sodium Alendronate?
If you miss a dose of Sodium Alendronate and you are on a daily schedule, then do not take it later in the day. Instead, continue with the normal schedule from the next day. Don’t take 2 tablets in a single day to make up for the missed dose.
If you are on a weekly schedule and you miss a dose, then take it first thing in the morning, the next day and continue the proper schedule. However, remember not to take 2 tablets in any circumstances.
What if I overdose?
In case of an overdose of Sodium Alendronate medication, drink a full glass of milk and get emergency medical help right immediately. Don’t try to induce vomiting as well as don’t lie down.
Signs of overdose may include stomach pain, heartburn, nausea, diarrhea, muscle cramps, numbness or tingling, muscle tightness in your face, seizure, irritability, or bizarre thoughts or behavior.
What should I avoid while taking Sodium Alendronate medication?
Don’t take any other medications such as multi-vitamins, multi-minerals, or antacids within 30 minutes of taking Sodium Alendronate tablet as they can make it harder for this medication to be properly absorbed in your body. Also sit upright and avoid lying for at least 30 minutes after taking a tablet.
Sodium Alendronate Side Effects
Get emergency medical attention if you get these allergic reactions to Sodium Alendronate: hives, breathing difficulty, swelling on your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop taking this medication if you experience any of these serious side effects: pain in chest; difficulty or pain while swallowing; pain or burning under the ribs or in the back; severe heartburn; burning pain in your upper stomach; or coughing up blood; new or deteriorating heartburn; fever; body ache; fly symptoms; extreme joint, bone, or muscle pain; new or unexplained pain in your thighs or hip; or pain, numbness, or swelling in jaw.
Some less serious side effects of Sodium Alendronate are bloating; mild heartburn; mild nausea; vomiting; stomach pain; diarrhea; gas; constipation; mild joint pain or swelling; swelling in limbs; dizziness; eye pain; or headache.
These are not a complete set of side effects which you may experience due to Sodium Alendronate usage. There may be other side effects. Discuss about the side effects with your doctor.
Interaction with other drugs
Share the list of all medications which you may be using currently with your doctor, especially aspirin or other NSAIDs (non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs) like celecoxib, diclofenac, diflunisal ibuprofen, indomethacin, ketoprofen, ketorolac, meloxicam, naproxen, or piroxicam. These drugs may interact with Sodium Alendronate medication thereby hindering its proper working.
The drugs mentioned above are not the only ones which may interact with Sodium Alendroante (Fosamax, Osteofos). There may be others as well. Share the list of all medicines you use at present with your doctor and never start a new medication on your own.
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