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Although alendronate is well tolerated by most people, side effects may still occur. Common side effects of alendronate include abdominal pain, muscle pain, and constipation. Other side effects, while not occurring as frequently, are potentially serious and should be reported to your healthcare provider right away. These serious alendronate side effects include throat pain, severe heartburn, and signs of an allergic reaction.

An Introduction to Side Effects of Alendronate

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with alendronate sodium (Fosamax®); 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.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with alendronate. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of alendronate side effects with you.)

Serious Alendronate Side Effects

Some side effects with alendronate, while occurring infrequently, are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
  • Throat pain, chest pain, or difficulty swallowing (which may be signs of ulcers of the esophagus)
  • Severe heartburn or heartburn that does not go away
  • Severe bone, muscle, or joint pain
  • Jaw or tooth problems
  • Groin or thigh pain, as these might be symptoms of a rare type of broken bone that has been reported with medications like alendronate 
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, including unexplained rash, hives, itching, and unexplained swelling.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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