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When and How to Take Alendronate

General considerations for when and how to take alendronate include the following:
  • The medication comes in tablet form. Depending on the dose, it is taken by mouth either daily or weekly. A liquid form of alendronate is also available to be taken weekly for people who have difficulty swallowing tablets.
  • It must be taken first thing in the morning at least 30 minutes before you eat or drink anything (other than water). You must wait at least 30 minutes after taking the medication before eating or drinking anything other than water or taking any medications. Food, beverages, and medications can interact with alendronate and prevent it from being absorbed into the body.
  • Take your dosage with a full glass of plain water only (not coffee, juice, soda, or even mineral water). With liquid alendronate, you should follow the dose with at least a quarter of a cup of plain water.
  • Swallow the tablets whole with a full glass of water while sitting or standing upright. You must not lie down until you have waited at least 30 minutes after the dose and after you have eaten something. The tablets should not be chewed, broken, or sucked on. These precautions are necessary to prevent alendronate from irritating your esophagus.
  • You need to make sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D while taking it, as the medication cannot build bone without calcium and vitamin D.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. It will not work if you stop taking it.

Dosing Information

The dosage that your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
  • Whether you prefer to take alendronate daily or monthly
  • Whether you are treating or preventing osteoporosis or treating Paget's disease
  • Other medications you may be taking
  • Other medical conditions you may have.
As with any medication, do not adjust your dose unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
(Click Alendronate Dosing for more information.)
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