Osteoporosis and Paget’s disease severely affect a sizeable percentage of the population, impacting life. Among the various medications and combinations of treatment regimen for the above conditions, Alendronate is regarded as an effective option. Fosamax, the branded prescription for Alendronate is popularly used for treating various conditions, in addition to osteoporosis and Paget’s disease. Here is a detailed look at the medication, its onset of action, the desired outcomes and the side effects of Fosamax. This is intended to help patients avoid undesirable effects and manage the possible side effects that are inevitable with medications.
Overview and side effects of Fosamax
Belonging to the category of medications with Alendronic acid as ingredient, the second-generation bisphosphonate is effective in preventing the resorption of bone. This is primarily considered as the reason for the conditions commonly associated with osteoporosis and Paget’s disease. The medication works by preventing bone resorption, and is indicated through a reduction in urinary calcium, among other indications. The FDA approved medication is used for treating/managing osteoporosis that is attributed to various conditions in both genders. For instance, women in the stages after menopause, often end up with brittle bones and bones that are weak. Similarly, individuals are often diagnosed with the condition as a result of extended use of medications that belong to the category of glucocorticoids. Paget’s disease refers to the condition where the bones are softened, weak and susceptible to break easily.
Prevent side effects of Fosamax by following right dosage instructions
Most undesirable effects of medications and OTC formulations are attributed to incorrect dosage and improper use of medications. Excessive dosages are responsible for a significant percentage of side effects of various medications. To prevent side effects of Fosamax it is essential to diligently stick to the recommended dosages as per various conditions. It is important to add here that the following is a compilation of general recommendations and the actual dosage may differ from person to person. The actual dosage may depend on various factors, such as age, intensity of the condition, the use of other medications, and other pre-existing health conditions, apart from the response of the body to the medication.
Fosamax is available in presentation of 70 mg tablets while other tablets are available in smaller doses. Depending on the condition and the recommendations, it is necessary to choose the right tablet to meet the dosage requirements. To prevent osteoporosis among women who have crossed menopause, the ideal dosage is 35 mg per week, which could be either taken as a single dose once a week, or split up into smaller doses of 5mg per day to make up the one-week dose. To prevent side effects of Fosamax, the ideal dosage for treating patients with osteoporosis that is attributed to glucocorticoids, is 5 mg per day. Women who have gone through menopause, and who are diagnosed with this condition are typically recommended a higher dose of 10 mg per day. However, it is important to add that there is a specific requirement in these cases, wherein the patient is expected to not be on estrogen or other HRT. As Fosamax is not available in the desired doses, it may be necessary to choose other labels or generic versions of the medication.
To treat individuals diagnosed with Paget’s disease, the recommended dosage is 40 mg per day for a period of six months. As Fosamax is not available in the desired dose, it may be necessary to choose alternate labels or generic versions of the medication. During the course of treatment for the condition, the specialist is most likely to monitor the ALP levels. Acronym for alkaline phosphatase, the medication is intended to keep this within the desired, ideal levels. In the event that the ALP levels continue to remain higher than the desired level, the medication may be continued for a longer period, till the ALP levels are maintained. Higher amounts of ALP levels will result in the faster formation of bone, which is not a healthy indication, and the reason for various complications.
Preventing side effects of Fosamax with simple tips
In addition to following dosage recommendations, it is also necessary to avoid wrong decisions in the event of a missed dose. Most individuals attempt to make up for a missed dose by taking a double dose of the medication. This is erroneous and is responsible for side effects of Fosamax. Various scenarios are possible in the event of a missed dose for most medications. For instance, if the individual is on a daily dose, and has missed the dosage by a few hours, the patient can take the tablet immediately. However, in the event that the patient notices the missed dose on the following day, it is best to skip the missed dose and take the upcoming tablet as usual. However, Fosamax and other generic medications or branded medications of alendronate are to be taken in the morning. This effectively means that a missed dose has to be skipped, and the next dose is to be taken as usual in the morning.
In the case of individuals who are recommended a weekly dose, the chances of missing a dose are relatively high. This is because the lack of routine may actually be a reason for missing the dose. In such instances, the patient is to take the missed dose on the following day and leave a gap of one week till the next dose. This way the amount of the medication in the body will not exceed the desired levels. It may be necessary to rely on various methods to remind the user about the taking the medication as per recommendations. For instance, a timer, or a notification will help to remind the user, and prevent skipped doses or side effects of Fosamax.
Fosamax and other medications with Alendronate are relatively long-term medications. For instance, patients diagnosed with Paget’s disease are expected to be on the medication for a minimum period of six months. In the event that the ALP levels are not stabilised or maintained below the desired levels, the duration of the treatment may be extended further. Patients diagnosed with osteoporosis may be recommended the medication for as long as a few years depending on the conditions. This clearly indicates that the drug is primarily long term in nature. This also exposes patients to the risk of side effects of Fosamax as long-term use of any medication may create undesirable effects from the mechanism of action of the drug.
Commonly reported side effects of Fosamax
Here is a look at the commonly reported side effects of Fosamax. This is mainly a compilation of recorded and reported undesirable effects and does not comprise all possible effects. It is also necessary to add that side effects may vary from individual to individual. Some may experience undesirable effects while others may not experience any undesirable effects. The duration and the intensity of the effects may also vary, and this effectively means that in certain instances, there may not be a nay need for medical intervention.
The more commonly reported mild side effects of Fosamax include pain in the stomach, or reflux of stomach acid. Individuals are known to end up with bouts of constipation, while contrastingly others have also reported diarrhea. Indigestion is another possible mild or moderate effect of the medication. Known as dyspepsia, this causes discomfort and may or may not be accompanied by nausea. Patients on the medication are also known to suffer from muscle pain of varying intensity. Most of the mild effects are typically known to resolve naturally in a few days and may not require medical intervention.
Side effects of Fosamax considered as serious
Apart from the above, there are side effects of Fosamax that are regarded as serious in nature. Undesirable effects that belong to this category may require medical attention. The rate of occurrence of serious side effects are relatively rare when compared with that of mild or moderate effects. It is important for individuals on the medication to be on the lookout for tell-tale symptoms that indicate serious side effects.
For instance, one of the serious side effects of Fosamax is osteonecrosis of the jaw bone. This condition refers to the death of bone tissue in the jaw. Discernible symptoms include a clear loosening of the teeth, that is not attributed to any other existing condition. Patients are likely to experience numbness in the jaw, before the condition fully manifests. Additionally, there could also be visible change in color around the jaw or pain in the jaw bone. In very rare cases, the jaw bone may be exposed and end up visible. A similar side effect is the possibility of easy fractures in the thigh. Patients are also likely to experience or witness symptoms that indicate the condition beforehand. For instance, the patient is likely to experience pain in the groin area, or the thigh or the hips that is not attributable to any other condition or trauma. Welling in the region is another possible symptom of the condition, while in certain instances, the patient may find it difficult to move the leg.
Other serious side effects of Fosamax include irritation in the esophagus that may or may not be accompanied by pain when swallowing food or liquid. Patients have also reported pain in the chest, that could also indicate irritation of the esophagus. Heartburn is another condition that may be experienced by patients, while the outbreak of ulcers cannot be ruled out. This could be extremely irritating and painful that may progressively deteriorate to bleeding in the esophagus.