Actonel is used in the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis.

Why have I been prescribed Actonel?

Actonel (Risedronate) 5mg is used in the treatment of osteoporosis

• in postmenopausal women.

The prevention of osteoporosis

• in women with an increased risk of osteoporosis (including low bone mass, early menopause or a family history of osteoporosis).
• in postmenopausal women who have been on high doses of steroid drugs for a long time.

How does it work?

Actonel belongs to a group of non-hormonal medicines called bisphosphonates. Actonel prevents the loss of bone that occurs in women after they have been through the menopause, and helps to rebuild bone. It reduces the risk of spine and hip fractures.

When and how do I take it?

Actonel 5mg is taken once a day. 

IT IS BEST to take your Actonel tablet at least 30 minutes before the first food, drink (other than plain water) or other medicine of the day. If in particular instance you are unable to take your Actonel tablet at this time, you may take it on an empty stomach, at the same time every day, in one of the following ways:
Between meals: at least 2 hours after your last food, drink (other than plain water) or other medicine. Do not eat or drink (other than plain water) for 2 hours after taking the tablet.
• OR
In the evening: at least 2 hours after your last food, drink (other than plain water) or other medicine of the day. Actonel should be taken at least 30 minutes before going to bed.

HOW to take the Actonel tablet

  • Take the tablet whilst you are in an upright position (you may sit or stand) to avoid heartburn.
  • Swallow it with at least one glass (120 ml) of plain water.
  • Swallow it whole. Do not suck or chew it.
  • Do not lie down for 30 minutes after taking your tablet.

Your doctor will tell you if you need calcium and vitamin supplements, if you are not taking enough from your diet

What’s the dose?

One 5mg tablet once a day.

Could it interact with other tablets?

Medicines containing one of the following lessen the effect of Actonel if taken at the same time:

  • calcium
  • magnesium
  • aluminium (for example some indigestion mixtures)
  • iron.

Take these medicines at least 30 minutes after your Actonel. Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any other medicines, including medicines obtained without a prescription.

Herbal supplements should be used with caution and only after informing your doctor first.

What are the possible risks or side-effects?

Like all medicines, Actonel can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.

Stop taking Actonel and contact a doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction such as;
  • Swelling of face, tongue or throat
  • Difficulties in swallowing
  • Hives and difficulties in breathing
  • Severe skin reactions that can include blistering of the skin.

Tell your doctor promptly if you experience the following side effects:

  • Eye inflammation, usually with pain, redness and light sensitivity.
  • Bone necrosis of the jaw (osteonecrosis) associated with delayed healing and infection, often following tooth extraction.
  • Symptoms from oesophagus such as pain when you swallow, difficulties in swallowing, chest pain or new or worsened heartburn.

Common side effects (less than 1 in 10 but more than 1 in 100 patients):

  • Indigestion, feeling sick, stomach ache, stomach cramps or discomfort, constipation, feelings of fullness, bloating, diarrhoea.
  • Pain in your bones, muscles or joints.
  • Headache.

Can I drink alcohol while taking it?

There are no known interactions between alcohol and Actonel.
Always ask your doctor/pharmacist however as this may depend on what other tablets you are taking.

What if I’m pregnant/breastfeeding?

Actonel cannot be used during pregnancy or while breast feeding.

If you have any more questions please ask your Pharmacist.

Remember to keep all medicines out of reach of children
Please Note:
We have made every effort to ensure that the content of this information sheet is correct at time of publish, but remember that information about drugs may change. This sheet does not list all the uses and side-effects associated with this drug. For full details please see the drug information leaflet which comes with your medicine. Your doctor will assess your medical circumstances and draw your attention to any information or side-effects which may be relevant in your particular case.