Risedronate is the active ingredient of Actonel Once-a-week tablets
(Nappi code: 701117-001).
Risedronate is a biphosphonate. Biphosphonates are drugs that prevent the
loss of bone mass and are used to treat osteoporosis.
In South Africa risedronate is registered for the treatment of osteoporosis
in postmenopausal woman. It is furthermore indicated for the treatment of
Paget's disease, a disorder which can lead to weakness and malformation of
Risedronate tablets should be taken with a full glass of plain water first
thing after getting up in the morning. Wait at least 30 minutes after taking the
tablet - if you can wait longer the tablet will be absorbed better - before
having the first meal of the day, any beverage or medication. After swallowing
your risedronate tablet do not lie down - remain upright (sitting or standing)
for at least 30 minutes and until after your first food of the day. This will
help the tablet to reach your stomach quickly and prevent it from sticking to
the throat (oesophagus) where it may cause irritation, ulcers, bleeding or even
Do not bite, crush or suck risedronate tablets as this may cause mouth ulcers
and increase the risk of oesophageal irritation. Do not take risedronate at
A calcium supplement with vitamin D and a vitamin C supplement may aid in the
formation of new bone tissue if dietary amounts are not adequate. These should
however not be taken at the same time as risedronate as it will affect
How does risedronate work?
Risedronate works by reducing the activity of osteoclasts, the cells that
cause bone loss, without affecting osteoblasts, the cells responsible for
building new bone. Risedronate ultimately enables you to add bone because it
allows your body's osteoblasts to continue to work while osteoclasts are stopped
from breaking down bone. Your body will no longer lose more bone than your cells
are making and will slowly begin to add new bone. Exercise will help even
Drug schedule: schedule 3
Available as: risedronate is available as tablets.
What does it do? Risedronate prevents bone degeneration and increases
Overdose risk: medium
Dependence risk: low
Is risedronate available as a generic? no
Is risedronate available on prescription only? yes
Onset of effect: several days
Duration of action: up to 16 months
Dietary advice: for risedronate to be effective, you must take the
tablets without food or other medications. Take the medication with plain water,
not mineral water. The minerals may have a possible effect on risedronate
Stopping this medicine: do not stop using this medication abruptly as
it may cause a recurrence of the original symptoms being treated. Consult with
your doctor prior to discontinuing treatment.
Consult your doctor before using this drug if:
- you have an oesophageal disease or
battle to swallow
- you are unable to stand or sit upright
for at least 30 minutes
- your blood levels of calcium are low
- you have kidney disease
Pregnancy: avoid. Potential risk to the foetus has been reported.
Consult your doctor before use, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.
Breastfeeding: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect
your baby. Consult your doctor before use.
Infants and children: this medication is not intended for use in
The elderly: no special precautions need to be taken.
Driving and hazardous work: no special precautions need to be
Alcohol: alcohol may enhance stomach irritation. It is also a risk
factor for developing osteoporosis.
Possible side effects
||Consult your doctor
||Only if severe
||In all cases|
|abdominal pain/ diarrhoea
|muscle and/or bone pain
||increased risk of low calcium levels in body |
|antacids, iron and mineral supplements, calcium-containing products
||reduced risedronate absorption. Take at least 2 hours from taking
|non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and aspirin
||increased possibility of upper gastro-intestinal
Seek immediate medical advice. Patient should try to remain upright.
Adults, oral: 35 mg once a week on the same day each week.
This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for
informational purposes only.
Please consult a physician for specific treatment and