Alendronic acid & joint pain

I have RA & broke my shoulder at the end of last year. Am still recovering & receiving treatment but following a bone density scan I have osteoporosis & have been started on alendronic acid. After my first dose I had mild dizziness but yesterday having taken my second tablet I have had severe joint pain so I could barely walk, loss of appetite & chronic fatigue. I have slept for hours & assumed I'd be fine this morning but I'm not. Does anyone have any experience of this & can tell me how long it takes for the pains to settle? I know from the leaflet that joint pain is a common side effect but how do you know when it's the tablet or flare? Never had pain like this ever. Linda

11 Replies

  • I used alendronic too and it caused me headache and fatique. I swallowed 70 mg once a week l stopped and am on Calci Chew only know.nwish you all best


  • Thanks for your reply. I wish I could just take calceos but don't think that's an option for me. Think I need to visit my Dr. Linda

  • Maybe you can ask of they will give it by infusion, it seems that gives less side effects.

    And you haven't to swallow it every day or week.

  • It sounds like a side effect of the alendronic acid to me Linda, but time will tell, it doesn't usually last long by all accounts. You do sound similar to how I was on AA & am now again since changing to risedronate. I take mine on a Saturday & have had weeks of going to bed by lunchtime feeling awful eventually getting up at 6ish but been fine today because (don't tell!) I didn't take mine this morning (it has a long half-life) so going to ask my GP about having an infusion. My Rheumy has told me that my reaction to it could be multiplied but I'd rather feel ill for a couple of days on a yearly infusion than regularly each week. Maybe you had better see your GP or Rheumy, whoever prescribed it & ask if there's an alternative you can try too. Good luck & I hope you feel better tomorrow. x

  • Thanks for your reply. I've felt rough all day & only got up at lunch time. Still not bothered about eating but the joint pain is slowly easing. Headache doesn't want to go though. Not sure I can face losing 2 days a week of my life just to deal with the aftermath of a tablet. Will go to see my GP. I wish you luck getting your infusion & hope you don't suffer. Linda

  • Hi Linda

    I am back at home now after breaking my shoulder 5 weeks ago. My GP put me on AA too. I have felt a bit dizzy after taking it, but still early days for me and I am hoping this lessens, as for fatigue I am feeling fairly washed out but have put that down to still recovering after the fracture.

    I googled osteroperosis treatments and found there were a number of other drugs that could be prescribed instead of AA so maybe a discussion with GP about alternatives is the best way forward.

    I am off for a dexa scan next Friday so I am hoping that my bones are healthier than suspected, a 180 mile round trip so I am hoping for good result.

    Best wishes


  • Hi Mall Glad to hear you're home. Hope you're managing & your fractures are mending. That's some day trip you'll have to go for your dexa scan. I live in the Peak District & am obviously very lucky compared to you. I've had a few hiccups since my last post & don't feel up to coping with any more side effects of alendronic acid whilst trying to recover from my broken shoulder. I think the general concensus is that the drugs for osteoporosis are very similar so if you suffer with one it's likely that you'll have problems with them all. My sister started on it in December & has persevered but it's only the last 3 doses that she's been symptom free. I did wonder how you were getting on. How many doses of aa have you taken? Let me know how you go next Friday. Best wishes to you too, Linda x

  • Hi Linda, I have taken 3 doses with loads of water first thing about an hour before I have breakfast. I was born in the Peak District and went to Lady Manners School in Bakewell. I still have a lot of relatives around the Matlock area. Currently I live in Argyll. Small world! All the best


  • Amazing! I'm not far from Buxton. Our daughter lives in Edinburgh & we have some holidays on the Cowal peninsula at Glendaruel visiting the surrounding area. I understand now why the dexa scan trip is so long. Assume you might have to go to Glasgow depending on where you are. Whatever the outcome at least you're on the right med. Hoping things are getting easier for you. Linda x

  • Hey, I was born in a village 8 miles from Buxton and now live in Oban area of Argyll. I had the dexa scan today and apparently don't have osteoporosis so won't need to take AA anymore. The last dose I took knocked me out for the day, I just dosed in front of the TV until bed time and then slept really badly due to twitchy leg muscles.

    Mall x

  • Hi Mall that's wonderful news that you don't have osteoporosis & can stop the lovely AA! You can concentrate on recovering from your fractures as it's

    a long journey. My physio is progressing but, having been to my GP, I've stopped AA due to worsening side effects. Apparently it's not an option to just take calcium & vitamin d so he's referring me to an endocrinologist to discuss other treatment options. I hope you're managing ok. Linda x

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