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Fosamax (Alendronate)

Prescription medicineOnly Available By Prescription

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What is Generic?

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What is a Generic Drug?

A generic drug is a copy of the brand-name drug with the same dosage, safety, strength, quality, consumption method, performance, and intended use. Before generics become available on the market, the generic company must prove it has the same active ingredients as the brand-name drug and works in the same way and in the same amount of time in the body.

The only differences between generics and their brand-name counterparts is that generics are less expensive and may look slightly different (eg. different shape or color), as trademarks laws prevent a generic from looking exactly like the brand-name drug.

Generics are less expensive because generic manufacturers don't have to invest large sums of money to develop a drug. When the brand-name patent expires, generic companies can manufacture a copy of the brand-name and sell it at a substantial discount.

Description

Chemical Name: ALENDRONATE (a-LEN-droe-nate)

Fosamax is a tablet but CANNOT be split in half.

FOSAMAX is used to prevent or treat osteoporosis in women after menopause and to treat osteoporosis in men. In postmenopausal women, FOSAMAX increases bone mass and reduces the incidence of fractures, including those of the hip and spine (vertebral compression fractures). It may also be used to treat Paget's disease of bone and osteoporosis caused by glucocorticoid treatment.

Directions

FOSAMAX should be taken with plain water, first thing in the morning - at least 30 minutes before the first food, beverage, or medication of the day. Taking FOSAMAX with orange juice or coffee has been shown to markedly reduce the absorption of this medication so it should be avoided.

Patients should be instructed not to lie down for at least 30 minutes and until after their first food of the day. Do not to take FOSAMAX at bedtime or before arising for the day. Failure to comply with these instructions may increase their risk of esophageal problems.

Cautions

Do not take a FOSAMAX tablets if you:

  • Cannot sit upright or stand for at least 30 minutes because it can cause serious problems in the stomach or esophagus. You will need to stay upright for at least 30 minutes after taking this medication.
  • Are allergic to alendronate, 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 FOSAMAX, tell your doctor if you have any of the following:
  • trouble swallowing
  • a vitamin D deficiency
  • a dental problem
  • kidney disease
  • an ulcer or other problem in your stomach or esophagus
Other important information patients should know about before they take FOSAMAX is some patients who are using similar medications have developed bone loss in the jaw (osteonecrosis). Symptoms may include jaw pain, swelling, numbness, loose teeth, gum infection, or slow healing after injury or surgery involving the gums.

Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of using FOSAMAX.

Side Effects

Common side effects may include constipation, diarrhea, full or bloated feeling, headache and nausea.

Serious side effects may include chest pain; difficulty or pain when swallowing; pain or burning under the ribs or in the back; severe heartburn, burning pain in your upper stomach, or coughing up blood; new or worsening heartburn; fever, body aches, flu symptoms; severe joint, bone, or muscle pain; new or unusual pain in your thigh or hip; jaw pain, numbness, or swelling.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about additional side effects that you may experience.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.

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