Risedronate (Actonel) is approved for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women and for the treatment of osteoporosis in men. It also is approved for the prevention and treatment of glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis in men and women as a result of long-term use of steroid medicines (examples are prednisone and cortisone). Risedronate (Atelvia) is approved for the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Risedronate slows bone loss, increases bone density and reduces the risk of spine and non-spine fractures, including hip fractures.
For both prevention and treatment, risedronate is taken daily as a 5 mg tablet, weekly as a 35 mg tablet that is available with or without separate calcium carbonate tablets, or monthly as a 150 mg tablet.
The Actonel tablet needs to be taken first thing in the morning after waking up and on an empty stomach. It is swallowed whole by itself (no other pills) with 6 to 8 ounces of plain water (no other liquid), at least 30 minutes before having anything to eat or drink. The Atelvia tablet needs to be taken immediately after breakfast with at least 4 ounces of plain water (no other liquid). Patients must remain upright (sitting, standing or walking) for at least 30 minutes after taking Actonel or Atelvia to permit adequate absorption and to minimize the risk of irritation of the esophagus.