Drug Class: Bisphosphonates
Brand Names: Binosto, Fosamax


For corticosteroid-induced osteoporosis: 5 mg once a day for men and postmeno­pausal women receiving estrogen; 10 mg once a day for postmenopausal women not receiving estrogen.

For osteoporosis in men and postmenopausal women: 70 mg once weekly or 10 mg once a day.

For osteoporosis prevention: 5 mg once a day or 35 mg once a week.

Potential Side Effects

Bone, muscle or joint pain; 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

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.

LAST UPDATED: 03/19/2014

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.