What is ACTONEL?
ACTONEL is a prescription medicine used:
- to prevent and treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.
- to prevent and treat osteoporosis in men and women that is caused by treatment with steroid medicines such as prednisone.
- to treat Paget's disease of bone (osteitis deformans). The treatment for Paget's disease is very different than for osteoporosis and uses a different type of ACTONEL. If you have Paget's disease, ask your healthcare provider how to use ACTONEL.
ACTONEL may reverse bone loss by stopping more loss of bone and increasing bone mass in most people who take it; even though they won't be able to see or feel a difference. ACTONEL helps lower the risk of breaking bones (fractures). Your healthcare provider will measure the thickness (density) of your bones or do other tests to check your progress.
Who should not take ACTONEL?
Do not take ACTONEL if you:
- have low blood calcium (hypocalcemia)
- cannot sit or stand up for 30 minutes
- have kidneys that work poorly
- have an allergy to ACTONEL. The active ingredient in ACTONEL is risedronate sodium.
How should I take ACTONEL?
The following instructions are for ACTONEL 5-mg (daily), ACTONEL 35-mg (Once-a-Week), and ACTONEL 150mg (One-a-Month):
- Take ACTONEL first thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything except plain water.
- Take ACTONEL while you are sitting or standing up.
- Take ACTONEL with 6 to 8 ounces (about 1 cup) of plain water. Do not take it with any other drink besides plain water. Do not take it with coffee, tea, juice, milk, or other dairy drinks.
- Swallow ACTONEL whole. Do not chew the tablet or keep it in your mouth to melt or dissolve.
- After taking ACTONEL you must wait at least 30 minutes BEFORE:
- lying down. You may sit, stand, or do normal activities like read the newspaper or take a walk.
- eating or drinking anything except plain water.
- you take vitamins, calcium, or antacids. Take vitamins, calcium, and antacids at a different time of the day from when you take ACTONEL.
- Keep taking ACTONEL for as long as your healthcare provider tells you.
For ACTONEL to treat your osteoporosis or keep you from getting osteoporosis, you have to take it as often and in the way it is prescribed.
Your healthcare provider may tell you to take calcium and vitamin D supplements and to exercise.
For patients with osteoporosis, the overall occurrence of side effects with ACTONEL was similar to placebo (sugar pill) and most were either mild or moderate. The most common side effects with ACTONEL include back pain, joint pain, upset stomach, abdominal (stomach area) pain, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and headache. Tell your health care provider if you have pain or discomfort in your stomach or esophagus. Rarely, severe skin reactions may occur. Patients may get allergic reactions such as rash, hives, or in rare cases, swelling that can be of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, which may cause trouble breathing or swallowing.
These are not all the possible side effects of ACTONEL. You can ask your health care provider or pharmacist about other side effects. Any time you have a medical problem you think may be from ACTONEL, talk to your doctor.
What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become thinner. Thin bones can break easily. Most people think of their bones as being solid like a rock. Actually, bone is living tissue, just like other parts of the body-your heart, brain, or skin, for example. Bone just happens to be a harder type of tissue. Bone is always changing. Your body keeps your bones strong and healthy by replacing old bone with new bone.
Osteoporosis causes the body to remove more bone than it replaces. This means that bones get weaker. Weak bones are more likely to break. Osteoporosis is a bone disease that is quite common, especially in older women. However, young people and men can develop osteoporosis, too. Osteoporosis can be prevented, and with proper therapy it can be treated.
How can osteoporosis affect me?
- You may not have any pain or other symptoms when osteoporosis begins.
- You are more likely to break (fracture) a bone especially if you fall because osteoporosis makes your bones weaker. You are most likely to break a bone in your back (spine), wrist, or hip.
- You may "shrink" (get shorter).
- You may get a "hump" (curve) in your back.
- You may have bad back pain that makes you stop some activities.
Who is at risk for osteoporosis?
Many things put people at risk for osteoporosis. The following people have a higher chance of getting osteoporosis.
- are going through or who are past menopause ("the change")
- are white (Caucasian) or Asian
- are thin
- have family member with osteoporosis
- do not get enough calcium or vitamin D
- do not exercise
- drink alcohol often
- have a history of hypothyroidism
- have a history of an eating disorder
- take bone thinning medicines (like prednisone or other corticosteroids) for a long time
- take Depot Provera or Lupron continuously for a period of time >3 years.