Actonel (Risedronate) is used in the treatment of osteoporosis, • in postmenopausal women, even if osteoporosis is severe. • in men.

Why have I been prescribed Actonel?

Actonel (Risedronate) is used in the treatment of osteoporosis.

  • in postmenopausal women, even if osteoporosis is severe.
  • in men.

How does it work?

Actonel belongs to a group of 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 is taken once a week. Follow these instructions carefully to make sure you will benefit from ACTONEL.

1) Choose the day of the week that best fits your schedule. Every week, take one tablet on your chosen day.

It is very important to follow instructions 2), 3), 4) and 5) to help the ACTONEL tablet reach your stomach quickly and help reduce the chance of irritating your gullet
(oesophagus - the tube that connects your mouth with your stomach).

2) After getting up for the day and before taking any food, drink, or other medicine, swallow your ACTONEL tablet whole with a full glass of water only (not mineral water) (not less than 200 ml or 7 fl. oz.).

  • Do not take with mineral water (still or sparkling).
  • Do not take with coffee or tea.
  • Do not take with juice or milk.

Do not crush or chew the tablet or allow it to dissolve in your mouth.

3) Do not lie down — stay fully upright (sitting, standing or walking) — for at least 30 minutes after swallowing the tablet. Do not lie down until after your first food of the day.

4) Do not take ACTONEL at bedtime or before getting up for the day.

5) If you develop difficulty or pain upon swallowing, chest pain, or new or worsening heartburn, stop taking ACTONEL and contact your doctor.

6) After swallowing your ACTONEL tablet, wait at least 30 minutes before taking your first food, drink, or other medicine of the day, including antacids, calcium supplements and vitamins. ACTONEL is effective only if taken when your stomach is empty.

What’s the dose?

One 35mg tablet once a week.

Could it interact with other tablets?

Medicines containing one of the following lessen the effect of Actonel Once a Week 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 Once a Week tablet. 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 Once a Week 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.

However in clinical studies the other side effects that were observed were usually mild and did not cause the patient to stop taking their tablets.

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

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.