Atelvia (generic: risedronate) is a prescription medication used to treat osteoporosis in women after menopause. Atelvia belongs to a group of drugs called biphosphonates, which slow the rate that bones break down.
This medication comes in tablet form and is taken just once a week, after breakfast, with at least 4 ounces of water. Do not lie down for 30 minutes after taking Atelvia.
Common side effects of Atelvia include diarrhea, muscle pain, and upset stomach.
Atelvia is a prescription medicine used to treat osteoporosis (a condition of thinning and weakened bones that may break easily) in women after menopause (end of menstrual periods).
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Atelvia may cause serious side effects. See "Drug Precautions".
The most common side effects of Atelvia include:
- flu-like symptoms
- muscle pain
- back and joint pain
- upset stomach
- stomach area (abdominal) pain
You may get allergic reactions, such as hives or, in rare cases, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of Atelvia. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
If taken with other medicines, the effects of Atelvia may be increased or decreased. Tell your doctor about all of the medicines you take or are planning to take. Especially tell your doctor if you take other medicines to treat osteoporosis, aspirin, calcium or iron supplements, antacids, laxatives, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).
Atelvia can cause serious side effects including:
- Esophagus problems
- Low calcium levels in your blood (hypocalcemia)
- Severe jaw bone problems (osteonecrosis)
- Bone, joint, or muscle pain
- Unusual thigh bone fractures
1. Esophagus problems.
Some people who take Atelvia may develop problems in the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth and the stomach). These problems include irritation, inflammation, or ulcers of the esophagus which may sometimes bleed.
- It is important that you take Atelvia exactly as prescribed to help lower your chance of getting esophagus problems. (See the section “How should I take Atelvia?”)
- Stop taking Atelvia and call your doctor right away if you get chest pain, new or worsening heartburn, or have trouble or pain when you swallow.
2. Low calcium levels in your blood (hypocalcemia).
Atelvia may lower the calcium levels in your blood. If you have low blood calcium before you start taking Atelvia, it may get worse during treatment. Your low blood calcium must be treated before you take Atelvia. Most people with low blood calcium levels do not have symptoms, but some people may have symptoms. Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of low blood calcium such as:
- Spasms, twitches, or cramps in your muscles
- Numbness or tingling in your fingers, toes, or around your mouth
Your doctor may prescribe calcium and vitamin D to help prevent low calcium levels in your blood, while you are taking Atelvia. Take calcium and vitamin D as your doctor tells you to.
3. Severe jaw bone problems (osteonecrosis).
Severe jaw bone problems may happen when you take Atelvia. Your doctor should examine your mouth before you start Atelvia. Your doctor may tell you to see your dentist before you start Atelvia. It is important for you to practice good mouth care during treatment with Atelvia.
4. Bone, joint, or muscle pain.
Some people who take Atelvia develop severe bone, joint, or muscle pain.
5. Unusual thigh bone fractures.
Some people have developed unusual fractures in their thigh bone. Symptoms of a fracture may include new or unusual pain in your hip, groin, or thigh.
Call your doctor right away if you have any of these side effects.
Do not take Atelvia if you:
- have certain problems with your esophagus, the tube that connects your mouth and stomach.
- cannot sit or stand up for at least 30 minutes.
- have low blood calcium (hypocalcemia).
- are allergic to any of the ingredients in Atelvia.
Rarely, people who take Atelvia and other bisphosphonates (this class of medicine) have had serious jawbone problems called osteonecrosis. This is bone death caused by poor blood supply to the area. The following medical conditions and situations may increase your risk for developing osteonecrosis:
- gum disease
- poor dental hygiene
- poorly fitting dentures
- dental surgery
Tell your doctor and right away if you develop jaw pain.
Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Atelvia there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving Atelvia.
Before you take Atelvia, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions including if you:
- are unable to sit or stand for at least 30 minutes
- have problems swallowing
- have stomach or digestive problems
- have low blood calcium
- plan to have dental surgery or teeth removed
- have kidney problems
- have been told you have trouble absorbing mineral in your stomach or intestines (malabsorption syndrome)
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant. It is not known if Atelvia will harm your unborn baby.
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Atelvia is excreted in human breastmilk or if it will harm your baby.
- Take Atelvia exactly as your doctor tells you.
- Take Atelvia 1 time a week right after breakfast. Choose a day of the week to take Atelvia that best fits your schedule.
- Take Atelvia with at least 4 ounces (about 1-half cup) of plain water.
- Swallow Atelvia tablets whole. Do not chew, cut, or crush Atelvia tablets before swallowing. If you cannot swallow Atelvia tablets whole, tell your doctor. You may need a different medicine.
- After swallowing Atelvia wait at least 30 minutes before you lie down. You may sit, stand or walk, and do normal activities like reading.
- Avoid taking calcium supplements and/or antacids together at the same time of the day as Atelvia.
- If you miss your weekly Atelvia dose, take Atelvia the morning after you remember then return to your normal schedule. Do not take 2 doses at the same time.
- You should take calcium and vitamin D as directed by your doctor.
- If you take too much Atelvia, call your doctor. Do not try to vomit. Do not lie down.
Take Atelvia exactly as your doctor tells you. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully. The recommended dose of Atelvia is one 35 mg tablet taken once a week.
If you have taken too much Atelvia seek emergency medical attention or call your local Poison Control Center right away.
Atelvia is available as 35 mg delayed-release tablets.
Active ingredient: risedronate sodium
Inactive ingredients: Edetate disodium, ferric oxide yellow, magnesium stearate, methacrylic acid copolymer, polysorbate 80, silicified microcrystalline cellulose (ProSolv SMCC90), simethicone, sodium starch glycolate, stearic acid, talc, and triethyl citrate.
Store Atelvia at room temperature away from light and moisture.
Keep Atelvia and all medicines out of the reach of children.