Home A-E Actonel – Drug Uses, Side Effects and Precautions

Actonel – Drug Uses, Side Effects and Precautions


Actonel is an FDA-approved prescription drug used to treat bone conditions. It contains an active drug called risedronate. It belongs to a group of drugs called bisphosphonates. Bisphosphonate acts by slowing the body’s natural bone resorption. These medications also aid in the thickening of your bone tissue.

  • Generic name: risedronate
  • Brand name: Actonel, Atelvia
  • Drug class: Bisphosphonates

Uses of Actonel

It is used to treat:

  • Osteoporosis in postmenopausal women
  • Osteoporosis in men
  • Glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis
  • Paget’s disease

How To Take Actonel

Actonel tablets are available in a variety of strengths (milligrams per pill) and dosage regimens. You may need to take a tablet once a day, once a week, once a month, or twice a month for two days in a row.

The reason you’re taking the medication and the strength of the tablet you’re taking will determine your dose plan. If your strengths vary, you may need to adjust your routine.

Read all drug guides or instruction sheets and follow all guidelines on your prescription label. Your doctor may adjust your dose from time to time. It should be used exactly as indicated. Risedronate is usually only taken for 3 to 5 years.

Take the Actonel tablet with a full glass (6 to 8 ounces) of water first thing in the morning, at least 30 minutes before you eat, drink, or take any other medicine.

When taking an Actonel tablet, only drink plain water. Coffee, tea, soda, juice, or mineral water should not be consumed. A tablet should not be crushed, chewed, or sucked. Completely swallow the tablet.

Wait at least 30 minutes after taking a tablet:

  • Before you lie down or recline, be sure you have everything you need. You are free to sit, stand, or stroll and engage in usual activities such as reading.
  • Except for simple water, wait until you’ve had your first meal or drink.
  • Before taking any other medications, such as vitamins, calcium, iron, antacids, or laxatives, consult your doctor.

Take this drug at the same time every day, every week, or every month (depending on your dosing schedule).

While taking risedronate, pay careful attention to good tooth hygiene. Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day. If you need dental work (particularly surgery), let your dentist know you’re taking risedronate ahead of time.

Actonel is simply one component of a comprehensive treatment plan that may include dietary changes, physical activity, bone mineral density tests, and calcium and vitamin supplementation. Pay strict attention to your doctor’s recommendations.

Store away from moisture and heat at room temperature. Keep any effervescent tablets that haven’t been used in the foil blister pack.

Side Effects of Actonel

The following side effects can be associated with taking Actonel. They include mild and severe side effects.

Consult your doctor or pharmacist for further information on Actonel’s potential adverse effects. They can provide you with advice on how to deal with any unpleasant side effects

Mild side effects include:

Severe side effects include:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Hypocalcemia
  • Allergic reaction
  • Esophageal ulcers
  • Esophageal bleeding
  • Bone pain
  • Femoral fractures
  • Cataracts.
  • Osteonecrosis of the jaw


If you have swallowing difficulties or low calcium levels in your blood, you should avoid taking Actonel. If you can’t sit or stand erect for at least 30 minutes after taking Actonel, don’t take it.

Risedronate can cause significant stomach or esophageal issues. If you develop chest pain, new or worsening heartburn, or pain when swallowing, stop taking Actonel and notify your doctor right once.

Muscle spasms, numbness or tingling (in hands and feet or around the mouth), new or unusual hip discomfort, or severe pain in your joints, bones, or muscles should all be reported to your doctor.


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