Actonel (Risedronic Acid)

What is Actonel?

The prescription drug Actonel (Risedronate) belongs to a category of generic drugs known as bisphosphonates and is recommended for curing osteoporosis as well as Paget’s disease – a condition where the bone formation is unusual. Bones in our body are all the time undergoing transformation process – dissolving and forming again.


Actonel Facts

Actonel (Risedronate) retards the dissolution process thereby increasing the density of bone in the body. In comparison to other bisphosphonates such as Didronel (etidronate) and Fosamax (alendronate), Actonel (Risedronate) encloses an exclusive compound that is considered to lessen the possibility of gastro-intestinal side effects of this generic drug. Actonel (Risedronate) is considered to be a stronger in impeding the dissolution of bone than Fosamax (alendronate) and Didronel (etidronate).

Actonel Indications

The prescription drug Actonel (Risedronate) is used to treat the Paget’s disease as well as osteoporosis. In addition, this generic drug, available is also prescribed to treat and prevent osteoporosis due to cortisone-related medication known as glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis. In fact, it was first approved by the FDA to treat the Paget’s disease in 1998 and a year later permission was granted to treat osteoporosis with the same generic drug. This generic drug functions by altering the cycle of bone formation and dissolution in the body. In other words, Actonel (Risedronate) not only slows down the bone loss, but also augments the bone mass, thereby preventing bone fractures.

Actonel Dosage

Normally, physicians prescribe a daily dose of 5 mg of this generic drug or a weekly dosage of 35 mg to treat osteoporosis. While an initial treatment of the Paget’s disease includes a daily dosage of 30 mg of Actonel (Risedronate) for two months at a stretch. It is important to take this generic drug with a full glass of water and care should be taken so that the patient does not take any food or drink 30 minutes before and after taking the medication. It is advisable not to take Actonel (Risedronate) in combination with vitamins with minerals, iron supplements or antacids enclosing calcium for this may result in undesirable side effects. In addition, patients should stand or sit in an upright position for a minimum of 30 minutes after taking this prescription drug with a view to prevent the pill from sticking into the esophagus or throat. An individual who is unable to remain in an upright position for around 30 minutes should not take this generic drug. It may be noted that Actonel (Risedronate) is only an element of a complete treatment that may include work out, diet changes, and taking calcium and vitamin supplements.

Actonel Side Effects

While nausea, diarrhea, constipation and headache are some of the common side effects of taking Actonel (Risedronate), some people using this generic drug may also experience bone loss in the jaw, the symptoms of which may include jaw pain, swelling, numbness, loose teeth, gum infection, or slow healing after injury or surgery involving the gums. Any patient taking this prescription drug is more likely to develop osteonecrosis of the jaw if he or she is enduring cancer or has been treated with chemotherapy, radiation, or steroids. Some other side effects associated with osteonecrosis of the jaw include blood clotting disorders, anemia and pre-existing dental problems. Nevertheless, Actonel (risedronate) is considered to be a well tolerated generic drug.

Actonel Precautions

Before you use this drug, you need to tell your physician about your medical history, especially condition of the kidneys, calcium levels, vitamin D deficiency, esophagus or stomach disorders and if you are allergic to any substance. In addition, when using this generic drug, patients should quit smoking and reduce their alcohol consumption as both these may enhance the perils of having osteoporosis. This prescription drug should be only taken when essentially required by pregnant women for the FDA warns that this generic drug may prove to be harmful for the unborn child. In addition, nursing women should consult their physicians before taking Actonel (Risedronate) as it is yet to be ascertained whether this generic drug passes on to breast milk. Last, but not the least, people who cannot remain standing or sitting in an upright position for at least 30 minutes after taking this prescription drug, should not be given Actonel (Risedronate).

Actonel Interactions

Certain prescription drugs cannot be taken with Actonel (Risedronate) as they cause interactions. This generic drug should only be taken with plain water as food, calcium and other minerals diminish its efficacy. Before taking this drug inform your physician about all the prescription, non-prescription and herbal medication use, particularly NSAIDs, aspirin, sucralfate, antacids containing calcium or any other minerals. This generic drug may also hinder some medical tests and hence it is important to tell the laboratory personnel when you are using Actonel (Risedronate).