Fosamax belongs to the group of bisphosphonate drugs. It contains the active ingredient alendronate sodium that prevents the deterioration of bones.
How it works
Osteoblasts and osteoclasts are cells that reshape bones in the body. Osteoclasts break down old bones and osteoblasts form new bones. Calcium which is stored in the bone is constantly used up by these cells. The level of estrogen decrease when women reach menopause. As a result, osteoclasts will begin to break down bones rapidly causing the loss of bone density. This condition prevails within the first 10 years of menopause and will inevitably lead to Osteoporosis in some women. Alendronic acid in Fosamax works by fitting tightly to the bone and blocking the activity of osteoclasts to prevent it from removing calcium.
Fosamax is prescribed to treat postmenopausal women suffering from Osteoporosis. It is also taken to prevent bone loss and alleviate the risk of developing osteoporosis. This drug is prescribed for men too.
Fosamax is available in the forms of tablets and an oral solution. It is important to follow the exact instructions given to you by your doctor when taking this medication. Following the precise directions can help you to minimize side effects of this drug.
The recommended dose for the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women is 35 mg per week or 5 mg per day.
Fosamax is administered for men with osteoporosis in doses of 70 mg once a week. If you prefer the oral solution, take 70 ml of it once every week. You can also take 10 mg every day of the week.
This medication has to be taken every morning with a full glass of plain water about half hour before you have breakfast. Taking Fosamax with other drinks or with food can reduce its absorption.
If you are taking other medicines, take them at least 30 minutes after Fosamax is taken.
The most common side effects associated with this medicine are:
Muscle or joint pains
Ulcers in the esophagus
If you face more severe side effects such as tarry stools, swelling of hands and feet, groin pains and dark vomit, visit your medical practitioner immediately.
A serious allergy to ingredients in Fosamax can cause skin irritation, swelling of tongue or throat area and dizziness. However, this drug is not known to cause any frequent serious allergies or side effects.
It is necessary to do blood tests regularly to monitor calcium levels in your body when taking this drug.
This drug is not recommended for children and expectant mothers. It should not be used if you have any of the medical conditions listed below.
Problems with the esophagus such as a narrow food passage
Allergy to alendronate sodium or other ingredients in Fosamax
Fosamax should be used with caution if you have ulcers, bleeding intestines and vitamin D deficiency.
To obtain better results when using Fosamax, take vitamin supplements and follow a diet and exercise program designed to reduce Osteoporosis.