First dose of alendronic acid : I have just... - Bone Health

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First dose of alendronic acid

MCW22 profile image
20 Replies

I have just taken my first alendronic acid tablet. Is it OK to sip the required amount of water a bit at a time as I find it hard to glug a whole glass full down in one go on an empty stomach when I'm not actually thirsty. I've drunk the glass full but it's taken me a while. Any advice would be appreciated as this is all new to me. Just diagnosed with osteopenia after a compression fracture in the summer. GP kept insisting I had strained a muscle.


20 Replies
Met00 profile image

Hello Carol and sorry to hear about your compression fracture. I'm not sure about the water but think you need to get it down you as fast as possible. You'd probably find it helpful to discuss this with the nurses on the helpline at the National Osteoporosis Society: as they are very well informed.

lolly64 profile image

Hi carol actually I agree with the previous reply I understand what your saying but you can get reflux you may not suffer from that but I do and I remember the nurse at the hospital told me to be safe drink two large glasses of water definitely not sip as you need to ensure the tablet is dissolved asap I don't drink the whole glass in one go but maybe three swallows each glass I'm wondering what time you have breakfast if your only sipping??? Good luck hope this helps

MCW22 profile image
MCW22 in reply to lolly64

I ended up not having breakfast this morning. I have a hiatus hernia and get a lot of heartburn and reflux for which I already take tablets twice daily. Having previously read up on this drug, I questioned my GP as to whether it was the right option for me and asked if the injection would be better as it bypasses the digestive system. He said that was only for severe cases. (which I take to mean no because it costs more and I have to have the cheapest option) I will try to drink the water a bit faster next week.


lolly64 profile image
lolly64 in reply to MCW22

Hi carol well I am on lansaprazol I've been on it some time as like you I suffer heartburn reflux which I did think about when bein put on dreaded AA I actually have osteoporosis and I know what you mean about swallowing it down but I get it out of the way to dissolve the tablet quick as possible. Give it a try I usually leave it an hour before I have breakfast as an after thought first few weeks I had bad pains in my fingers as I have arthritis in them I phoned osteoporosis nurses and they urged me to persevere after the third week got better, I wouldn't go down that route the injections have a lot of bad press re problems with teeth if you need invasive work and you don't yet have osteoporosis only osteopenia, see how you go but it's worth getting up earlier which I do so I can have breakfast!!! All the best x

MCW22 profile image
MCW22 in reply to lolly64

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply.I will make a concerted effort to drink the water faster next week. So far so good, nothing untoward happening.

One thing that made me laugh, well swear actually was 'recommend lifestyle changes, eg, weight bearing exercise' I've been linedancing 2 or 3 times a week for the last 18 years then the fracture stopped me in my tracks. How the f.... do they expect me to do weight bearing exercise when i'm in pain just walking round a supermarket ( and that's using the trolley to lean on to take the strain off my back)

Feeling very peed off


lolly64 profile image
lolly64 in reply to MCW22

Oh I know it's horses for courses actually the only thing I do is walking I've read so many things on this forum and elsewhere that quite a few fractures breaks etc COME from certain exercise so I think natural walking obviously brisk and try taking calcium I'm on calcium and fultium vitamin D3 GPS hospital not much help but plenty of help on here and OP website very good I was a newbie in April and I've found the knowledge on here very helpful some wacky suggestions but mostly helpful dare I use the phrase crack on enjoy your Christmas x

Jayge profile image
Jayge in reply to MCW22

It seems to me that you have been doing all that dancing for 18 years that obviously weight bearing will not help to cure or prevent osteoporosis. Many who have been advised to start meds or injections are afraid and think that weight bearing will cure osteoporosis will reconsider.

MCW22 profile image
MCW22 in reply to Jayge

Before line dancing I used to do a lot of walking, now I have osteoarthritis in my hips so that didn't do me much good either. Never smoked a single cigarette in my life but that didn't stop me having a stroke and getting blood cancer. All I want is to free from pain so I can once again garden and dance. Been nearly 5 months since the fracture.

peace_lover profile image
peace_lover in reply to MCW22

Hi Carol. If AA causes you more digestive problems the next choice before an injection is Risedronate. It’s a biosphonate similar to AA but better for people who have indigestion problems already. My GP prescribed AA for me but my Rheumatologist changed it to Risedronate because I have PBC (a liver disease) and also am taking steroids so have horrible indigestion and reflux already. I won’t say it might not give you problems but it’s not that much more expensive than AA.

There’s lots of information about the choices of drug available on the National Osteoporosis Society website, it’s well worth a look (or give their helpline a call). Good luck!

MCW22 profile image
MCW22 in reply to peace_lover

That is really useful information about the risedronate, thank you.

Kaarina profile image
Kaarina in reply to MCW22

It is still the same procedure when taking Risedronate (Actonel) as AA regarding taking the tablet with a full glass of plain water.

MCW22 profile image
MCW22 in reply to Kaarina


strongmouse profile image
strongmouse in reply to MCW22

MY GP referred me to Rheumatologist after I couldn't tolerate alednronic acid and after some discussion and thought he agreed to put let me have a course of injections. I've had my second infusion (yearly one) and then after the third they will do a further DEXA scan. I'm also on Adcal daily.

One of the factors considered is if you have broken a bone so worth talking to GP again if you can't tolerate medication. I have oesophageal reflux and some other conditions which make exercise difficult. My mother had severe osteoporosis and eventually lost two inches in height due to compressed spine, so I am keen to do all I can to help my bones stay healthy.

Meganisi profile image
Meganisi in reply to MCW22

I also have a hiatus hernia and take a PPI for it which manages to relieve me of some but not all symptoms. I took my first Risedronate (Actonel) last week with no issues. Up at 6am, drank the 2 glasses, took the PPI at 9am and then ate at 9.30am. I have to manage 4 small meals a day otherwise the stomach complains. Week 2 will see how we go. I am transitioning off Prolia so Actonel it is. There is also a monthly tablet but it is not enteric coated so I opted for weekly - no brand substitutes.

AnnieW55 profile image

I have (mildish) osteopenia and broke my hip running a marathon! I’m not able to do weight bearing exercise yet either as I am still on crutches a lot of the time. The hospital that put me back together put me on AA but I stopped it after four tablets due to side effects. I did get the 200ml of water down very quickly when taking them though. I believe the water is meant to protect your gullet and stomach.

Cally55 profile image

This sounds daft and may be obvious but I find it much easier to down the whole glass if the water is tepid, not cold from the tap!

Agree with you about the advice to do weight bearing exercises, I have had to give up my horse because of the risk of more fractures, walking the dog is about all I can do now and then only for aboit 25 minutes, the dog is not impressed!

peace_lover profile image
peace_lover in reply to Cally55

I absolutely agree with you on the warmer water. I let my glass of water sit overnight in the winter so it’s not quite so cold and find it’s easier to swallow. I also don’t gulp in down too quickly or I end up burping which defeats the object! I just drink it slowly and steadily, but more than sipping, if you know what I mean.

Beeblebev profile image
Beeblebev in reply to Cally55

Oh gosh yes I am going to start having tepid weater as today I took my AA with water from the tap and it was so cold I ended up chocking and gulping. I coughed so much sure the AA tablet came back up. I drank so much more water just to make sure it was down... phew.

Elizabeth65 profile image

Use a drinking straw and it is easier to drinkif you put trawfar back in mouth then you don't taste.

MCW22 profile image

In the end I decided not to continue with the AA after the first pack. No one has questioned why I haven't been re ordering it as it's on my repeats list. Haven't seen my gp since.


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