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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking risedronate (Actonel, Atelvia)?
Do not take a risedronate tablet if you cannot sit upright or stand for at least 30 minutes. Risedronate can cause serious problems in the stomach or esophagus (the tube that connects your mouth and stomach). You will need to stay upright for at least 30 minutes after taking this medication.
You should not take this medication if you are allergic to risedronate, or if you have low levels of calcium in your blood (hypocalcemia), or a problem with the movement of muscles in your esophagus.
To make sure you can safely take risedronate, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
Some people using medicines similar to risedronate have developed bone loss in the jaw, also called osteonecrosis of the jaw. Symptoms of this condition may include jaw pain, swelling, numbness, loose teeth, gum infection, or slow healing after injury or surgery involving the gums.
You may be more likely to develop osteonecrosis of the jaw if you have cancer or have been treated with chemotherapy, radiation, or steroids. Other conditions associated with osteonecrosis of the jaw include blood clotting disorders, anemia (low red blood cells), and dental surgery or pre-existing dental problems.
Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of using this medication.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether risedronate will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
It is not known whether risedronate passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are taking risedronate.
How should I take risedronate (Actonel, Atelvia)?
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Risedronate tablets come in different strengths (number of milligrams per pill). Some tablets are taken once each day. Some tablets are taken once each week, or only 1 or 2 times each month.
Your dosing schedule will depend on the tablet strength your doctor has prescribed. If you change tablet strengths, you may also need to change your schedule. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Take the Actonel tablet first thing in the morning with a full glass (6 to 8 ounces) of water, at least 30 minutes before you eat or drink anything or take any other medicine.
Take the Atelvia tablet just after breakfast, with at least 4 ounces of water.
Use only plain water (not mineral water) when taking a risedronate tablet.
After taking a risedronate tablet, carefully follow these instructions:
Do not take two different strengths of risedronate tablet at the same time.
If you take risedronate only once a week, take it on the same day and time each week.
Do not crush, chew, or suck the risedronate tablet. Swallow the pill whole. The enteric coated pill has a special coating to protect your stomach. Breaking the pill will damage this coating.
If you need to have any dental work (especially surgery), tell the dentist ahead of time that you are using risedronate. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.
To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your bone mineral density will need to be tested on a regular basis. You may not need to take risedronate for longer than 3 to 5 years if you take it for osteoporosis. Visit your doctor regularly.
Risedronate is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet changes, exercise, and taking calcium and vitamin supplements. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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