Alendronic Acid: Hi I’ve just started on... - Bone Health

Bone Health

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Alendronic Acid

Gym12 profile image

Hi I’ve just started on Alendronic Acid I’m now experiencing really painful joints in my wrists and back of hands.

Anyone else had this problem?

26 Replies

Unfortunately, bone, joint and muscle pain are one of many possible side effects of AA. :(

Gym12 profile image
Gym12 in reply to Kaarina

Thank you, will it subside ? I’ve really struggled with yoga this morning

Kaarina profile image
Kaarina in reply to Gym12

It may but it depends if you wish to continue with taking the AA for a good few weeks to find out. Joint pain is listed as one of the common side effects (affects between 1 in 10 and 1 in 100 people).

Hi ..... I’m experiencing exactly the same thing In the same places But with swelling Only a day after taking

Had to take anti flammitory Which not only eased the pain put helped take swelling down

See Kaarina has responded as expected side effect

Having come off Priolia ( after terrible fibromyalgia for 3 years ) Was hoping AA would be pain free Obviously not the case Will take one more dose to see if there are any changes

Met00 profile image
Met00 in reply to Bupi

Bupi, if you've been on prolia, don't rush to come off AA, you need to take it for a minimum amount of time (not sure if it's a year or 2 years) to reduce the risk of rebound fractures from stopping prolia!

Bupi profile image
Bupi in reply to Met00

I had to take a break ...... So I have been off Prolia for almost 2 years .Felt I needed to cleanse my system .But I’m back in the osteoporosis bracket . As I mentioned will give AA another try. As long as I can manage the pain factor (even with an anti flammitory from time to time ) Otherwise will have to try another option

Kaarina profile image
Kaarina in reply to Bupi

I agree with Met00. If you have been on prolia you should continue with another OP medication if you do not continue with AA. You could ask if you could try Risedronate, which may hopefully suit you better.

Yes, my bones - especially the bones I had broken for some reason - my muscles and joints hurt too and I felt generally very feeble and ill plus I was incredibly tired.

I see you take Accrette too, I didn’t get on well with Accrette, either. I knew it was that because I started it the week before I started the AA, it upset my IBS and I just felt pretty rubbish, I changed on to a different type that tasted quite nice but that was the same.

I arranged to increase my dietary intake of calcium which was fine - I use the ROS leaflet about sources of dietary calcium - then last week I bought some calcium citrate which is supposed to be easier on the gut but I’ve got similar problems which is a nuisance so I reckon it’s dietary for me from now on.

Hi, I have recently joined this group & was prescribed Alendronic Acid & Adcal in April for mild Osteoporosis & Osteopenia. I stopped taking them a couple of weeks ago as I had a terrible pain in my wrist. It felt like it was broken & I wore a support on it which helped slightly. I also struggled with yoga poses which I had previously managed. Within a few days of stopping the medication the pain went! It was like flicking a switch so I am now following advice on here about diet & supplements. Thanks everyone it is so useful to hear from others’ experiences.

Same here. I took it for about the same length of time as you did then couldn’t stand it any more so I stopped it and I feel a lot healthier.

It didn’t affect my gut or oesophagus at all, it was the rest of my body that felt awful, I was exhausted all the time and had no energy, I still don’t feel as if my muscles are back to normal though. I’m working on diet, exercise and vitamins and minerals.

The same thing happened to me. I already have fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis, so the side effects were awful. I obeyed the instructions to the letter, so had no stomach/reflux problems. My hands and feet swelled up so much I could bearly walk, and my hands hurt so much I could not pull the cord on my bedroom blind. I couldn't write legibly. I kept a diary of my symptoms so this is obvious from the change in my writing at that time. I managed only 2 weekly doses and just had to give it up. I reported it on the Yellow Card scheme given on the instruction leaflet with the tablets, so it had to be added to my medical notes. I was prescribed Risedronate, but as the side effects were described as the same, I couldn't bear to try them. I'm just taking Calcium D3 chewable tablets now, and have ducked out of further Dexa scans in case I'm told I have to have injections into my belly. I realise this is risky, but my existing painful conditions are already difficult to manage and I could not bear the thought of the severity of the increase by being forced to take AA.

I know just how you felt. Think with fibromyalgia and arthritis you get to the stage you just can’t take anything more.

Have you thought of taking vitamin K2 - MK 7 Natto as well as your calcium and vitamin D? It is supposed to direct the calcium to your bones.

I have heard many people speak of the benefits of K2 and think I should consider it, thanks Fruitandnutcase. I also take magnesium as this is supposed to help muscle pain.

I wouldn't touch that drug with a barge pole. A friend of mine was prescribed it for osteoporosis, she's now having trouble swallowing, her oesophagus feels like she has a bone stuck in it. I prefer to just take the Calcium Adcal-D3 chewable tablets and take a K2 with it for absorption. Then later in the day take another D3 with a piece of cheese, again for better absorption needs fat soluble. Some of these drugs do more harm than good. I won't mind telling my rheumy when I see him next month that I didn't want to take it.

Hi you say your friend suffers with her esophogus, has she consulted a doctor ? I am also having some similar trouble

Yes, she saw her doc and is now off it....haven't seen her in a while so not sure

whether she is on a different drug for her osteoporosis

She could be having annual infusions which bypass the gut.

I had to stop taking it as it upset my crohns and caused a major flare up. Despite having osteopenia (and 2 hip replacements last year which have given me my life back) I now just take vitamin D high strength and calcium tablets and hope these make a difference.

I had AA ONCE while in Hospital for a spine right arm/hand went stiff and really swollen - Never Again..Rheumy wants me to have Prolia - No Chance....too many horrid side effects and when people have a break from it most often bones are weaker and fracture!!

Adcal/Accrete made me ill also... Don't need Calcium unless blood shows 'calcium deficient'. It gave meHYPERCALCEMIA

I've had 3 spine fractures (osteoporosis in Spine so relying on vits/minerals etc

Vit D3 is essential with it's co factors VitK2 and Magnesium.

I use VitD3/K2-mk7 sublingual drops plus a magnesium spray - helps any aches etc

I suffered side effects including joint pain but on 3rd week everything settled down and been good since


I was on Alendronic acid for 5 years as advised by practitioner. After stopping I had to wait a year before a dexascan to see if there was any change. There was only a marginal change. I discussed this with my go to which he suggested that I do not start AA again. If there had been a change in my bone density of 50-60% then it may have been advisable to start again. He advised me to continue taking

Adcal d3 and keep up with my gym and strengthen my muscles for support and balance. He also informed me that he had recently been to a seminarcwhere they discussed benefits and side effects of AA and was of the opinion that it is a fairly recent drug and ling term side effects are unknown.

I am not keen on taking Adcal either but continuing with it and concentrating on strengthening my body and doing weight based exercises2-3 times a week.

My go has not suggested any other treatment or further scans but I will discuss this with him at some point and have my levels cheked

Take great care!! I obediently took it for maybe 5 years, perhaps more, when in 2014, my left femur broke. So obviously, I stopped taking it. SIX years later, on 3rd March, I stood up to get off the bus, and my right femur broke. The consultant said that it had happened because of the alendronate. I still haven't been out under my own steam and feel I would need to use the zimmer for safety. Terrified of falling or catching the virus.

Katy12 profile image
Katy12 in reply to Durhamthinker

I really feel for you - that Is absolutely horrendous, and 6 years later!You poor thing.

So it obviously has a similar or same consequences as taking Bisphonates over a long period of time. And as for Prolia, I hope I have the strength to say “i do not want to go back on this drug ever again.”.

After suffering spinal fractures since coming off it, I now wonder if we are not better from this point on to manage our bones ourselves, because the pain or risk from fracture/s does not appear to be any less ( long term) than the risk of fracture from the drugs along with their other possible consequences.

I dont know. Do we Live in fear of breaking further bones when we take no further medication ( and associated pain/ lifestyle changes) or live in fear of the drug that you are taking to prevent further fractures.

I hope you have someone who can help you manage your pain and give you some further direction re OP.

Forgot to say - in the leaflet, your femur breaking is listed as 'rare' side-effect. Huh!

I was prescribed alendronic. The joint pain was terrible in the evening i couldnt walk or move. It settled after a couple of days until i took it again. But it changed my life so drastically i wanted to know if it was a good to take or imperative. i went back to the doctor He put me on ibandronic acid one a month instead of weekly. Pain i had was put down to stress and fibromyalgia. I dont feel like it is good for me. I dread taking it. It makes me feel down. I hope it does some good. I had 3.2 dexa score 2 years ago.

Hi, yes, I've been on AA's for 2 years now. It does make me achey, still, especially, my wrists one of which I broke around 3 years ago.Also ankles hurt. However, I am sticking with it, because with these I may be able to keep my diagnosis of Osteopenia and not have it increase to Osteoarthritis.

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