Other possible side effects
Somewhat related to ONJ, severe bone and joint has been reported
during bisphosphonate treatment. Pain might show up immediately
after the medicine is started or in several months later. Doctors
have a range of options for dealing with osteoporosis, so be sure
to speak up about any pain you experience.
esophageal ulcers, esophageal erosions, and esophageal stricture
have been reported with oral bisphosphonates.
Occular side effects
has been reported in a few cases.
- low calcium level in the blood. Your doctor may have a
work-around or put you on a different type of medicine. Slightly
lower calcium levels due to alendronate usually poses no problem,
but patients who are vitamin D-deficient can get hypocalcemia.
Patients taking alendronate should receive at least 1000 mg of
elemental calcium and 800 IU of vitamin D per day unless they have
Intravenous administration can
make the patient feel like he/she has the flu and develop a fever.
The white blood cell count may be diminished. This usually passes
in a few days.
Some people get stomach
cramps or other gastrointestinal problems
(gastrointestinal mucosa irritation) on alendronate. While
gastrointestinal problems are side effects of many drugs, with
some medicines you can reduce these effects by taking the drug
with a meal. Unfortunately, absorption of alendronate is poorer
with food - this is one reason you shouldn't eat or drink anything
for at least 30 minutes after taking the medicine.
Paget's disease patienrs taking
40 mg/day are more apt to get gastrointestinal problems than
osteoporosis patients who take one pill per week.