Drug Class:


Brand Names




Pill: 150 mg in a single monthly dose.

Infusion: 3 mg/3 mL every 3 months.

Potential Side Effects


Heartburn; stomach pain. Joint pain and fever may accompany infusions, most commonly with first infusion.

Special Instructions

  • Swallow whole with liquid. Do not split, crush, chew or dissolve tablets. Take at least 30 minutes before meals.
  • Do not eat or drink anything else or take any other medication, including calcium tablets, for at least 60 minutes.

Be Aware

  • Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are taking aspirin or aspirin-containing products.
  • Blood levels of calcium and vitamin D must be normal before starting therapy. If they are low, your doctor may recommend supplementation with ergocalciferol or cholecalciferol before taking potent bisphosphonates. Rarely, osteonecrosis of the jaw has been reported in patients treated with bisphosphonates. You should have dental checkup before starting bisphosphonates. Bisphosphonates have also been linked to a rare type of leg fracture. Tell your doctor if you have persistent leg pain.

The Arthritis Today Drug Guide is meant for education – not self-medicating. Arthritis Today, the Arthritis Foundation and the Drug Guide Medical Review Panel do not endorse any products mentioned in this guide. While we endeavor to keep the information up to date, we make no representations or warranties about the completeness of the information provided.

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