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Alendronate is a drug that is used to treat osteoporosis and Paget's disease. It works by binding to certain cells in bones and slowing down the rate at which it breaks down. Alendronate comes in tablet form; however, a liquid form is also available for those who have difficulty swallowing tablets. Possible side effects of the drug include muscle pain, joint pain, and indigestion.

What Is Alendronate?

Alendronate sodium (Fosamax®) is a prescription medication approved for the following uses:
  • Treating osteoporosis in both men in women due to steroid medications, such as prednisone
  • Preventing and treating osteoporosis in postmenopausal women
  • Treating osteoporosis in men
  • Treating Paget's disease in men and women.
(Click What Is Alendronate Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Side Effects of Alendronate

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with alendronate. However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
Common side effects of alendronate include, but are not limited to:
  • Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
  • Bone, muscle, or joint pain
  • Indigestion or heartburn.
(Click Side Effects of Alendronate to learn more, including potentially serious side effects that you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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