"a-LEN-droe-nate SOE-dee-um/vitamin D3"
Common brand names:
This medication is used to treat certain types of bone loss (osteoporosis) and to increase bone mass. Osteoporosis causes bones to become thinner and break more easily. Your chance of developing osteoporosis increases as you age, after menopause, or if you are taking corticosteroid medications (such as prednisone) for a long time.
This product is a combination of two medicines: alendronate and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). Alendronate works by slowing bone loss to help maintain strong bones and reduce the risk of broken bones (fractures). It belongs to a class of medications called bisphosphonates. Vitamin D3 helps your body absorb calcium and is necessary for building healthy bones.
How to Use This Medication
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking this medication and each time you get a refill. Follow the instructions very closely to make sure your body absorbs as much drug as possible and to reduce the risk of injury to your esophagus. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
This medication is usually taken once per week unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Choose the day of the week that best fits your schedule and take it on that day each week.
Take this medication by mouth, after getting up for the day and before taking your first food, beverage, or other medication. Take it with a full glass (6-8 ounces or 180-240 milliliters) of plain water. Swallow the tablet whole. Do not chew or suck on it. Then stay fully upright (sitting, standing, or walking) for at least 30 minutes and do not lie down until after your first food of the day. This product works only if taken on an empty stomach. Wait at least 30 minutes (preferably 1 to 2 hours) after taking the medication before you eat or drink anything other than plain water.
Do not take this medication at bedtime or while you are still in bed. It may not be absorbed and you may have side effects.
Other medications may decrease the absorption of this product, such as quinapril, certain forms of didanosine (chewable/dispersible buffered tablets or pediatric oral solution), sucralfate bismuth subsalicylate, mineral oil, orlistat, cholestyramine, and colestipol. Certain supplements and foods may also interfere with the absorption of this medication, such as calcium or iron supplements, vitamins with minerals, antacids, olestra, dairy products (such as milk, yogurt), mineral water, coffee, tea, and calcium-enriched juice. Do not take these products for at least 30 minutes (preferably 1 to 2 hours) after taking this medication.
Take this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to take it on the same day each week. It may help to mark your calendar with a reminder. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of long-term use of this medication.
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Information expires June 2017.