Alendronic acid and other medicines explained

·2-min read
Photo credit: Strauss/Curtis - Getty Images
Photo credit: Strauss/Curtis - Getty Images

From Netdoctor

It's important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start taking alendronic acid. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines with alendronic acid, to make sure that the combination is safe.

The main rule with alendronic acid is that you do not take any other medicines by mouth at the same time as your alendronic acid dose, or for at least 30 minutes after taking it. This is because other medicines could interfere with the absorption of alendronic acid from the gut, which could make it less effective. This is particularly important for the medicines listed below:

● antacids (indigestion remedies)

● calcium supplements

● iron supplements

● laxatives containing magnesium

● mineral supplements

● multivitamins containing minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium or zinc

● zinc supplements.

It's best to avoid taking anti-inflammatory painkillers (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, diclofenac or naproxen while you're taking alendronic acid, unless they are recommended by your doctor. This is because this type of painkiller may increase the risk of irritation to the foodpipe, stomach or intestines. Remember that many cold and flu remedies and over-the-counter painkillers contain ibuprofen or aspirin, so always check the ingredients and check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking them.

If you need to take a painkiller while you're taking alendronic acid then it's fine to take paracetamol or co-codamol, assuming these are appropriate for you, because these painkillers don't irritate the gut. Ask your pharmacist for further advice.

The amount of calcium in your blood is more likely to fall too low if you take aminoglycoside antibiotics such as gentamicin while you're taking alendronic acid. If you need to take both your doctor may want to monitor your calcium levels more closely.

Other than those mentioned here, other medicines are generally fine to take alongside alendronic acid, though do always check with your pharmacist.

Last updated: 31.10.2020

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