Fosamax is in the group of medicines called bisphosphonates (bis FOS fo nayts). It alters the cycle of bone formation and breakdown in the body. Fosamax slows bone loss while increasing bone mass, which may prevent bone fractures.
Fosamax is used to treat or prevent postmenopausal osteoporosis and steroid-induced osteoporosis. Fosamax is also used to treat Pagets disease of bone.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Fosamax?
Do not take an Fosamax tablet if you cannot sit upright or stand for at least 30 minutes. Fosamax 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.
Before using Fosamax, tell your doctor if you have:
• low blood calcium (hypocalcemia);
• a vitamin D deficiency;
• kidney disease; or
• an ulcer in your stomach or esophagus.
If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use Fosamax, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.
Some people using medicines similar to Fosamax 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.
FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether Fosamax passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I take Fosamax?
Take Fosamax exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not use the medication in larger amounts or for longer than recommended by your doctor.
Fosamax tablets are taken either once each day or once each week.
Take the Fosamax tablet first thing in the morning, at least 30 minutes before you eat or drink anything or take any other medicine. If you take an Fosamax tablet only once a week, take it on the same day each week and always first thing in the morning.
Take each Fosamax tablet with a full glass (6 to 8 ounces) of water. Use only plain water (not mineral water) when taking an Fosamax tablet. Do not crush, chew, or suck the Fosamax tablet. Swallow the pill whole.
After taking an Fosamax tablet, carefully follow these instructions:
• Do not lie down or recline for at least 30 minutes after taking Fosamax.
• Do not eat or drink anything other than plain water.
• Do not take any other medicines including vitamins, calcium, or antacids for at least 30 minutes after taking Fosamax. It may be best to take your other medicines at a different time of the day. Talk with your doctor about the best dosing schedule for your other medicines.
To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your bone mineral density will need to be tested on a regular basis. It is important that you not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.
Fosamax 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 Fosamax tablets at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
If you take Fosamax tablets once daily: If you forget to take this medicine first thing in the morning, do not take it later in the day. Wait until the following morning to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take take two (2) tablets in one day.
If you take Fosamax tablets once a week: If you forget to take Fosamax on your scheduled day, take it first thing in the morning on the day after you remember the missed dose. Then return to your regular weekly schedule on your chosen dose day. Do not take take two (2) tablets in one day.