What is this medication for?
This medication pack contains two different medications (risedronate and calcium carbonate) to be taken at different times. Risedronate - calcium is used to treat and prevent osteoporosis for postmenopausal women.
Risedronate belongs to the class of medications called bisphosphonates, which increases bone mineral density by slowing down the cells that usually break down bone (osteoclasts). This allows the cells that build bone (osteoblasts) to work more efficiently. By making bones stronger, risedronate can help to reduce the incidence of broken bones. Calcium carbonate is a building block of bones. When taken daily, calcium carbonate may help strengthen existing bones.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Actonel® with Calcium is available as:
- tablets (2 medications co-packaged)
- 35 mg risedronate (4 tablets)
- 1,250 mg calcium carbonate (24 tablets)
Some medications may have other generic brands available. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of switching between brands of the same medication.
How should I use this medication?
This medication is taken on a 7-day treatment cycle. The recommended treatment is one tablet of 35 mg risedronate once weekly on the same day of your choosing (e.g., every Sunday) on Day 1 of the cycle. Then take one 1,250 mg calcium carbonate tablet on each of the remaining 6 days of the cycle (Days 2 to 7). After Day 7, start the cycle again by taking one tablet of 35 mg risedronate.
Take the risedronate tablet at least 30 minutes before the first food or drink of the day other than plain water. Take risedronate while sitting in an upright position. Swallow the tablet whole (do not chew or crush) with a full glass of water (6 to 8 ounces). Do not lie down within 30 minutes of taking risedronate to prevent any irritation to your esophagus (the tube connecting the mouth and stomach).
Take the calcium carbonate tablets with food to improve calcium absorption by the stomach as well as minimize the chance of stomach upset.
If you are taking calcium supplements or aluminum-, iron-, or magnesium-containing medications (e.g., antacids and mineral supplements), you should take them at a different time during the day, because when taken together with risedronate, they will decrease the amount of risedronate that is delivered from your stomach into your body.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
If you miss your risedronate dose on the regularly scheduled day, take the missed dose on the morning after you remember and return to taking 1 tablet once a week, on the day you usually take risedronate. Do not take 2 tablets of risedronate on the same day. Do not take the calcium tablet that day but continue on the following day. This means you will miss one of the calcium doses.
If you miss your calcium dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. Do not take more than 1 tablet on the same day. If the day you remember is the day of taking risedronate, do not take the calcium tablet that day.
Do not take a double dose of medication to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature and keep it out of the reach of children.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Risedronate should not be taken by anyone who:
- is allergic to risedronate, calcium carbonate, or to any of the ingredients of the medication
- cannot sit upright or stand for at least 30 minutes
- has hypercalcemia (high levels of calcium in the blood)
- has hypocalcemia (low levels of calcium in the blood)