Drug Class And Mechanism: Alendronate ( Fosamax Drug ) is in a class of medications used to strengthen bone. Bone is in a constant state of remodeling, whereby old bone is removed by cells called osteoclasts, and new bone is laid down by cells called osteoblasts. Alendronate inhibits bone removal by the osteoclasts.
Alendronate / Fosamax Drug is used to treat osteoporosis (thinning of bone) in women after menopause. After menopause, there is an increased rate of bone loss (resorption). In these patients, alendronate has been shown to increase bone density while strengthening bone, and decrease the rate of bone fractures. Alendronate is also helpful in the treatment of Paget’s disease of the bone. Paget’s disease is characterized by a disorderly and accelerated remodeling of the bone, leading to bone weakness and pain.
Special warnings about Fosamax
Fosamax is not recommended for women on hormone replacement therapy, or for women with kidney problems.
Be sure to tell your doctor if you have trouble swallowing or have any digestive problems, including heartburn or ulcers. Fosamax may cause problems in your esophagus such as inflammation, ulcers, bleeding, and in rare cases, blockage or perforation.
Arthritis of the joints (primarily in the jaw) has been reported in patients taking Fosamax. If you experience jaw pain, contact your doctor or dentist.
Fosamax may cause bone, joint, and/or muscle pain. If you develop these symptoms, talk to your doctor. Most pain stops when the drug is discontinued, but don’t stop taking it without consulting your doctor first.
Since food, other medications, and vitamins can interfere with the absorption of alendronate, it should be taken at least 30 minutes before food, beverage, vitamins or medicines. In order to avoid chemical irritation of the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth with the stomach), alendronate should be taken with a full glass of plain water first thing in the morning and never chewed or sucked. It should be avoided by patients with abnormalities of the esophagus which delay esophageal emptying, such as scarring (stricture) or poor motility (achalasia). Patients should also not lie down for 30 minutes after swallowing the tablets. Those patients who are unable to remain upright for at least 30 minutes after taking medication should avoid alendronate.