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Updated September 11, 2006

Actonel Basics:

Actonel is a brand name of a drug called risedronate. It is in a class of drugs known as bone resorption inhibitors.

What is Actonel Used For:

Actonel is used to help treat osteoporosis a disease that affects many seniors (especially older women) and can lead to serious bone fractures and disability. It is also used in the treatment of Paget's Disease where normally hard bone is replaced with a softer bone that is weaker and more likely to break.

Forms of Actonel:

Actonel is available as a tablet in dosages of 5 and 30 mg.

Facts About Osteoporosis:

osteoporosis is a disease that thinks the bones and weakens them.
Bone tissue is continually removed and replaced, but when affected with osteoporosis more bone is broken down than is replaced. Post menopausal women are most commonly affected by osteoporosis, but older men get it also. The weakened bone of osteoporosis is more at risk of fracture.

Side Effects of Actonel:

Possible side effects include:
  • Dizziness or headache
  • Pain or difficulty when swallowing
  • Heartburn
  • Stomach or esophageal ulcers

Who Should Not Use Actonel:

You should not use Actonel if:
  • You re allergic to the medication
  • You have a low blood calcium level
  • You have diminished or poor kidney function
  • You are not able to sit or stand upright for 30 minutes after taking the medication

What You Need To Know About Actonel:

Actonel should be taken first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything. Take it with an eight ounce glass of water while sitting or standing. Wait 30 minutes before eating or drinking anything else and remain upright. Calcium supplements, antacids or vitamins take them at a different time of day than Actonel. Follow the diet and exercise recommendations of your doctor. Increasing calcium in your diet and weight bearing exercise can help prevent or slow osteoporosis.


Nursing Drug Reference,Mosby, 20042006 Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals. , 11/2003;
More Information About Osteoporosis

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