Actonel (Risedronate sodium ) - Osteopenia, Osteoporosis treatment

Actonel is the brand name for risedronate sodium. This drug can be prescribed for the prevention as well as the treatment of post menopausal Osteoporosis. The drug comes in tablet form.

Since this drug has been approved for the prevention of Osteoporosis, it is often prescribed for those with Osteopenia .

Like Fosamax and Boniva, this drug slows the work of your Osteoclasts. ( Osteoclasts are the cells responsible for removing old bone.)

It does not affect or stimulate the cells that build new bone (osteoblasts). With this drug your osteoblasts continue to make new bone at the same pace as they did before you started taking the medication. Since old bone is not removed as quickly, your bone density can increase. This is its main help for someone with Osteopenia, or thinning bones, so that they do not progress to Osteoporosis.

These prescription tablets are manufactured in three different doses 5mg, 30 mg and 35mg. The 5mg tablet is taken each day. The 30mg and 35mg tablets are for once a week use.

The drug has been shown to reduce spinal fractures during the First Year of taking the medication. And it has been shown to be useful to men as well as women.

There was a study of this drug in Japan with men who developed Osteoporosis after having a stroke. The study stated that:

"There is a high incidence of hip fractures in patients after hemiplegic stroke. Bone mineral density is decreased on the hemiplegic side in patients after stroke, correlating with the immobilization-induced bone resorption, the degree of paralysis, and hypovitaminosis D. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of risedronate sodium, an inhibitor of bone resorption, on osteoporosis and the risk of hip fractures in men 65 years or older after stroke."

The study, "Risedronate Sodium Therapy for Prevention of Hip Fracture in Men 65 Years or Older After Stroke" was made by Yoshihiro Sato, MD; Jun Iwamoto, MD; Tomohiro Kanoko, PhD; Kei Satoh, MD It can be found in Arch Intern Medicine 2005;165:1743-1748. If you want to read its conclusions, go to Risendronate sodium (Actonel)

Frequently asked questions about Actonel:

How should I take this medication?
This medication should be taken in the morning with a full glass of water.

You need to stay upright for at least 30 minutes after taking the tablet. Do not lie down or bend over. Also, do not eat or drink anything for at least 30 minutes. That means you need to wait the full 30 minutes before taking any other medications, vitamins or even your morning coffee.

NOTE: If you lie down before 30 minutes is up, you risk damaging the lining of your stomach. If you eat or drink anything in the same time period, you can reduce the effectiveness of the drug.Be sure to follow your health care provider's instructions for this or any other prescription medication.

Are there things I should discuss with my health care provider before taking this drug?

Because risendronate sodium can cause ulceration, you should let your health care provider know if you:

  • have a problem swallowing;
  • have esophageal ulcers or esophageal disease;
  • have stomach ulcers or other stomach problems;
  • can not stand or sit upright for at least 30 minutes in the morning

Also if you have any condition that causes low levels of calcium in your body or if you have kidney disease be sure to remind your health care professional of this.

It is not known if this drug will harm a fetus so if you are pregnant or if you can become pregnant, be sure to discuss this with your medical provider. The same is true if you are breast feeding. 

Can I take it if I take other prescriptions or over-the-counter medications?
You may need a special dosage or you may not be able to use Actonel at all with certain medications. If you take any of the following medications Be sure to discuss them Medications with your health care provider:

  • Antacids
  • Aspirin
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, others)
  • Ketoprofen (Orudis KT, Orudis, Oruvail)
  • Indomethacin (Indocin, Indocin SR)
  • Naproxen (Anaprox, Aleve, Naprosyn)
  • Oxaprozin (Daypro)
  • Nabumetone (Relafen)
  • Piroxicam (Feldene) with your health care provider reviews ALL your medications.

Also it is important to let your health care provider know if you use any herbal products. Some of these could interfere with Actonel (risendronate sodium) and you many need a diffrent dosage.

Possible side-effects

There are a host of possible negative side effects of Actonel and you can read them here

Are there any good side effects from taking it?

Yes, there are - especially if you have Osteoarthritis. A British study of this drug and Osteoarthritis of the knee enrolled patients (40 to 80 years of age) with mild to moderate Osteoarthritis of the medial compartment of the knee.

Results: "Risedronate (15 mg) significantly reduced markers of cartilage degradation and bone resorption (bone loss). Clear trends towards improvement were observed in both joint structure and symptoms in patients with primary knee OA treated with risedronate" (Actonel). If you have Osteoarthritis and Osteopenia or Osteoporosis, you may want to read more about Actonel and/or talk with your physician.

RX List - and - 

Research studies results about this drug can be found at Actonel Research Results  Click here to read main page about this drug   

Read about other Osteopenia Medications at Osteopenia Osteoporosis Medications or

Special note: This web site offers science based information, not medical advice. For medical advice you need to consult a licensed medical practitioner. 

Have you used Actonel? Would you like to make a comment about your experience? If so use the form below. NOTE: You must put the url from the top of this page in the first line of your comment so I know where to put your comment. Without that url, I shall not be able to post your comment. (Ah technology...)

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