Arthritis Today

Risedronate sodium


Drug Class:


Brand Names

Actonel, Atelvia



Actonel: For corticoste­roid-induced osteoporosis: 5 mg once daily. For treatment and prevention of osteoporosis for men or women: 5 mg once daily or 35 mg once weekly; for women, two doses of 75 mg each on two consecutive days or 150 mg once a month.

Atelvia: For postmenopausal women: 35 mg once weekly. 

Potential Side Effects


Heartburn; stomach pain.

Special Instructions

  • Take with a full glass of water first thing in the morning.
  • Wait at least 30 minutes before lying down or taking other medicines or supplements, including calcium tablets.

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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