Actonel Medication Information:

Price Break On Actonel
Generic is available for less money: Generic Risedronate

Actonel medication comes in several different strengths; click on the strength you need to view prices from pharmacies competing to earn your business.

Actonel 5 mg
Actonel 30 mg
Actonel DR 35 mg
Actonel 35 mg
Actonel 150 mg

What is Actonel?

Actonel is part of a group of drugs called bisphosphonates. The slow bone loss while increasing bone mass, which can help with osteoporosis and prevent bone fractures. It is also used to treat Paget's disease. It binds to certain cells in the bones, which prevents and slows the rate at which they break down. It is also used to treat osteoporosis in people with corticosteroid related ospeoporosis.

How to use Actonel

There are several ways you can take Actonel and of course, your doctor will decide which one will be best for you. The options are one tablet daily in the morning, one tablet once a week in a morning, one table taken two mornings in a row every month and one table once a month in the morning.

Side Effects of Actonel

The most common side effects of Actonel are back pain, joint pain, stomach pain, bladder infections, diarrhea and high blood pressure. Many people also experience weakness, dizziness, neck pain, nausea, prostate enlargement (in men) and leg cramps. Other side effects such as chest pain, gas, anemia, depression pneumonia and cataracts were also recorded in studies as side effects but they occur so frequently in the general population also that it is hard to tell if they were caused by taking Actonel or not.

Other drug names

The generic name for Actonel is risedronate sodium. This is part of a group of drugs called bisphosphonates. This group includes Actonel as well as Fosomax and Boniva which are taken orrally in tablet form. Other bisophosphonates such as Zometa, Aredia and Bonefos are given intravenously.

Safety Information:

You should not take Actonel if you cannot stand up or sit up for at least 30 minutes. It can cause serious problems in the esophagus if you take it and don't sit up or stand for 30 minutes afterward. If you have low blood calcium, a vitamin D deficiency, kidney disease or an ulcer your should not take Actonel. This medication is harmful to unborn babies so you should not take it if you are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant.

Some safety concerns when it comes to taking Actonel include standing or sitting up for at least 30 minutes after taking it. Take it first thing in the morning at least half an hour before you eat or take any other medicine. Take it with a full glass of liquid, 6 to 8 ounces. Make sure you swallow the tablet whole also, do not crush or chew it. You will also need to have your bone density tested on a regular basis to see if this medication is working for you. It is part of a program that should also include exercise, diet changes, calcium and vitamin supplements.

Actonel should be stored at room temperature and away from moisture and heat. If you miss a dose of Actonel don't take it later in the day. Wait until the next morning to take it. Do not take two tables in one day. If you take the drug once a week or once a month take the missed dose on the next morning after you remember your missed dose. After that return to your regular weekly or monthly schedule.


Actonel comes in the following dosages:

  • 5 mg tablets for daily dosing
  • 35 mg tablets for weekly dosing
  • 75 mg tablets for taking two days a month
  • 150 mg tablets for monthly dosing

Visual Description:

The tablet 5 mg tablets are light orange in color and oval, the 35 mg tablets are white ovals, the 75 mg tablets are light pink ovals and the 150 mg are light blue oval tablets.

About Actonel

What Actonel is used for

  • Treatment and prevention of osteoporosis in post-menopausal women

  • Treatment of osteoporosis in men, to improve bone mineral density

  • Prevention and treatment of osteoporosis caused by treatment with steroid medication such as prednisone

  • Treatment of Paget’s disease of bone

What Actonel does

ACTONEL is a non-hormonal drug (i.e., not an estrogen) that helps to slow bone loss. In many people, ACTONEL helps to increase bone density. In osteoporosis, the body removes more bone than it replaces. This causes bones to get weaker and more likely to break or fracture (usually at the spine, wrist or hip). Spine fractures may result in a curved back, height loss or back pain. ACTONEL corrects this imbalance by decreasing the elevated rate of bone removal. ACTONEL can therefore help reduce the risk of spine and non-spine fractures.

Your doctor may measure the thickness (i.e. density) of your bone through a bone mineral density (BMD) scan or x-ray to check your progress through further bone loss or fracture.

ACTONEL is not a pain reliever. Your doctor may prescribe or recommend another medicine specifically for pain relief.

When Actonel should not be used

  • If you have low blood calcium levels (hypocalcaemia).

  • If you are allergic to risedronate sodium or any other ingredients in ACTONEL (see What the important nonmedicinal ingredients are:).

What the medicinal ingredient is

Risedronate sodium.

What the important nonmedicinal ingredients for Actonel are

Crospovidone, ferric oxide (5, 35 and 75 mg), hypromellose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, indigo carmine (150 mg), lactose (5, 30 and 35 mg), magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, silicon dioxide, and titanium dioxide.

What dosage forms Actonel comes in

ACTONEL is available as tablets. Each tablet contains risedronate sodium 5 mg (yellow), 30 mg (white), 35 mg (orange), 75 mg (pink) or 150 mg (blue).

Warnings and Precautions

Before you use ACTONEL, talk to your doctor or pharmacist if:

  • You have had problems or disease in your kidneys, esophagus (i.e., the tube connecting the mouth and the stomach), stomach, or intestines.

  • You cannot carry out dosing instructions (see Proper Use of This Medication:).

  • You are pregnant or nursing.

  • You have one of the following risk factors: cancer; chemotherapy, radiotherapy of the head or neck, treatment with corticosteroids, or dental problems or dental infections. If so, a dental examination and any necessary dental procedures should be considered before you start treatment with ACTONEL.

Be sure to tell your health care providers, including doctors and dentists, about all medicines you are taking, including ACTONEL.

Calcium and vitamin D are also important for strong bones. Your doctor may ask you to take calcium and vitamin D while you are on ACTONEL therapy.

Interactions with Actonel

Vitamin and mineral supplements, as well as antacids, may contain substances (e.g., calcium, magnesium, aluminum, and iron) which can stop your body from absorbing or using ACTONEL. These should be taken at a different time of day.

If taken with some other medicines, the effects of ACTONEL or the effects of other medicines may be changed. It is important to tell your doctor what other medications you are taking, even if the medicine does not require a prescription (including vitamins and herbal supplements).

If you are taking this drug for Paget's disease, talk to your doctor before taking ASA or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used for pain management because the risk of stomach upset may be increased.

Food, if taken with ACTONEL, may prevent your body from absorbing or using ACTONEL. Take ACTONEL on an empty stomach. (See Proper Use of This Medication: for instruction.)

Proper Use of Actonel

As with all medications, it is important to take as directed by your doctor.

Usual dose

Treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis

  • 1 tablet (5 mg) per day or

  • 1 tablet (35 mg) per week or

  • 1 tablet (75 mg) per day for two consecutive days each month, on the same two calendar days each month or

  • 1 tablet (150 mg) once per month, on the same calendar day each month.

Prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis

  • 1 tablet (5 mg) per day or

  • 1 tablet (35 mg) per week

Treatment of osteoporosis in men, to improve bone mineral density

  • 1 tablet (35 mg) per week

Prevention and treatment of glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis

  • 1 tablet (5 mg) per day

Paget's disease of bone

  • 1 tablet (30 mg) per day

Once daily dosing (5 mg or 30 mg per day)

  • Take one ACTONEL tablet first thing in the morning with plain water before you have anything to eat or drink.

Once weekly dosing (35 mg per week)

  • Choose a day of the week to take your tablet.

  • On your chosen day, take one ACTONEL tablet first thing in the morning with plain water before you have anything to eat or drink.

Monthly duet dose (75 mg on two consecutive days per month)

  • Choose 2 days in a row each month that you will remember and that best fits your schedule to take your ACTONEL doses.

  • Take one ACTONEL tablet first thing in the morning with plain water before you have anything to eat or drink on your first chosen day.

  • Take the second ACTONEL tablet in the morning of the following day with plain water before you have anything to eat or drink.

  • ACTONEL should be taken on the same two consecutive calendar days each month.

Actonel Facts

The drug ACTONEL is manufactured by Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Clinical trials of ACTONEL evaluated safety of the drug in four trials conducted in several nations.

Clinical trials of ACTONEL involved 3,232 female patients.

ACTONEL obtained original or tentative approval from the FDA on March 27, 1998.


Technical Information

What Others Are Saying About actonel:

Ellie Kerry on Friday December 5, 2008

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