Actonel Side Effects – Actonel (Risedronate) for Osteoporosis

The History of Actonel

Actonel is used in the prevention and treatment for osteoporosis in women and men as well as for Paget’s disease and glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis. Manufactured by Proctor & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, Actonel has been on the market since it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2000. It can be taken daily, weekly or monthly.

Actonel is a type of bisphosphonate. Bisphosphonates have been used since the middle of the 19th century when they were employed for corrosion prevention and washing powders in the textile, fertilizer and oil industries. About 30 years ago scientists discovered bisphosphonates have the remarkable ability to inhibit the breakdown of bones, experienced by many post-menopausal women.

Evidence Actonel is Working

A patient will not feel bisphosphonates working in his or her body, but progress can be monitored with a bone mineral density (BMD) test commonly called a Dexa scan. A Dexa scan is far more accurate than a regular X-ray or CAT scan and uses much less radiation. Increases in bone mass can be seen in as little as three months after therapy has started, but your doctor will recommend the frequency for any ongoing BMD tests.

In a 2001 study conducted by Michael McClung, M.D., et al, at the Oregon Osteoporosis Center, it was found that “Risedronate significantly reduces the risk of hip fracture among elderly women with confirmed osteoporosis, but not among elderly women selected primarily on the basis of risk factors other than low bone mineral density.“

Actonel Side Effects

Possible side effects of Actonel are:

  • geal ulcer
  • pain or burning under the ribs or in the back
  • new or worsening heartburn
  • severe joint, bone or muscle pain
  • flu symptoms
  • chest pain
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal pain or nausea
  • constipation
  • swelling
  • joint pain
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • rash

In order to help prevent side effects of Actonel regarding the stomach or esophagus, users should remain standing upright for at least 30 minutes after taking a tablet. It should be taken before the first food or drink of the day with a full glass of water, and one should not eat or drink anything else for at least 30 minutes.

With any type of bisphosphonate, you may be at an increased risk for jawbone problems known as osteonecrosis. Also called jawbone death, a small number of patients who had a tooth pulled or crowns or implants installed while taking bisphosphonates experienced pain and the inability of the jaw to heal.

Symptoms of jaw bone death include:

  • jaw pain
  • swelling
  • numbness
  • loose teeth
  • gum infection
  • slow healing after surgery involving the gums

Osteonecrosis is more common in bone cancer patients who are taking larger quantities intravenously, but there have been reports among those taking smaller quantities orally as well. It is always a good idea to have a complete dental exam and take care of any invasive dental procedures before starting treatment with a bisphosphonate.

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Natural Alternative to Bisphosphonates

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