The rate of bone loss increases in women, especially after menopause. This leads to a condition called osteoporosis. It causes the bones to become thin and brittle, and easy to fracture. Even a simple slip-and-fall accident can cause major bone breakage in these patients.
Bones are constantly forming and breaking down in the body. Ibandronate enhances bone health by changing the way bones form and break down. The result is a decrease in bone loss, an increase in bone mass, and a reduced risk of bone breakage.
The tablet is shown to be more effective during treatment when patients take sufficient calcium and vitamin D in their diet.
Ibandronate is supplied in the form of a tablet and is sold in the US under the brand name, Boniva. Patients must have a doctor's prescription to get this medicine. It may be used to treat other medical conditions not discussed in this guide.
Prescription medicines, such as Ibandronate, generally cause various side effects. Some of them are necessary and expected as the medicine works in the body.
Ibandronate may cause some side effects that are unwanted and may or may not require medical attention.
Irritation or ulcers in the esophagus and jaw problems (osteonecrosis) are two of the serious problems that may develop from using Ibandronate.
Irritation or ulcers in the esophagus tend to happen when patients continue taking the medicine after their esophagus becomes irritated. Not drinking enough water when taking the drug or lying down to soon after (less than 1 hour) may also cause these problems.
Patients with esophagus abnormalities are more likely to experience these problems.
Other patients may develop jaw problems which typically happens due to infection or slow healing after a tooth is extracted.
The following other general side effects may occur and require immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these:
Other side effects may occur, but it is not known how frequently they do or how severe they may be. Some of them are as follows:
There are side effects that do not need medical attention if they occur. As the body gets used to the medicine, these effects tend to go away eventually.
Talk with your doctor if any of the following side effects occur but become bothersome or do not go away.
Some patients may experience other side effects not listed in this guide. Tell your doctor if you notice any unusual symptom that bothers you or becomes worse.
For more information on side effects and how to reduce or prevent them, ask your doctor or healthcare professional.
You may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 to report side effects.
Dosage directions will be on the prescription label of your medicine. It usually tells you the strength of your dose, the time between each dose, how often you should take it, and the duration of your treatment.
Follow those and other directions given to you by your doctor or pharmacist. The patient information leaflet may also have additional information to guide you.
In addition to your medicine, your doctor may instruct you to eat a well-balanced diet that includes an adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D.
The following is only a recommended dosage guide. You should stick to the dosage directions given to you by your doctor.
For treating and preventing post-menopausal osteoporosis:
Adults: Take 2.5 milligrams (mg) once a day in the morning. It can also be taken monthly instead of daily. Take 150 mg once a month on the same date of each month. Swallow the tablet whole; sucking or chewing it may cause your esophagus to become irritated.
Children: Treatment with Ibandronate must be determined by your doctor.
Ibandronate should be taken as soon as you wake in the morning, and at least 1 hour before eating, drinking or taking other medicines. Take it with a full glass of plain water (6 to 8 ounces).
If you are able to wait longer than 60 minutes before you eat, drink or take other medicines, this will increase the effectiveness of the drug.
Taking food and certain beverages, such as coffee, milk, tea, juice or mineral water prevents the medicine from being properly absorbed in the body and reduces its effectiveness.
Calcium or vitamin supplements and other medicines, such as antacids, reduce absorption of the drug if used around the time of taking Ibandronate.
If you are a patient taking daily doses of the medication and you missed a dose, you should skip the missed dose and take the medicine the following morning. Afterwards, continue with the regular dosing schedule. Do not take two tablets on the same day.
If you are taking the medicine once per month, you should take your dose early the next morning after you remember you missed a dose. But you should take it only if the next scheduled dose is 7 or more days away.
Afterwards, take the next dose on the exact day of the month you are supposed to take it.
However, if the next dose is 1 to 7 days away skip the missed dose and take your medicine on the next scheduled day. Continue with the regular schedule afterward.
Call your doctor, 911 and/or the local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222, if you overdose on this drug. If the patient collapses or is not breathing, call 911.
The following are symptoms of an overdose. Seek emergency medical care right away if you experience them:
Food, alcohol, tobacco and other medicines or medical problems may interact with your medicine during treatment. Your doctor will consider your medical history and medicines or other substances you may be taking when deciding to treat you.
The following foods, medicines, and medical problems are listed because they may cause significant interaction with Ibandronate.
Food, alcohol or tobacco
Your doctor may caution you on the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.
There may be an increased risk of certain side effects if the following are used when taking the medicine. If using them cannot be avoided, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use your medicine. You may also be given special directions on their use.
The medicine should be used with caution in patients who are taking other drugs that may make gastrointestinal irritation worse. They include aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines.
Other medicines not mentioned here may also cause interaction.
The following conditions may affect or be affected by this medicine if they are present in patients being treated with Ibandronate.
This medicine should not be used in patients with any of these conditions:
The medicine may increase the risk of jaw problems in patients who have the following:
Use Ibandronate with caution in patients who have the following conditions as it may make these conditions worse:
You may ask your doctor for information on other medical conditions that may cause adverse interaction with this medicine.
Therefore, do not use this medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding unless your doctor determines the potential benefits outweigh the risks.
Symptoms of damage include pain or difficulty when swallowing, heartburn, feeling as if food is stuck after you swallow it, or pain in the center of the chest.
Keep the medicine stored in a closed container away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep and freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Throw away medicine that is expired or no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional or local waste disposal agency how to safely dispose of it.
Ibandronate is a safe and effective medicine for treating and preventing osteoporosis in women who have passed menopause. Its use in the improvement of bone health is especially important since it reduces bone loss and the risk of bone fractures.
A balanced diet with adequate calcium and vitamin D helps improve the effectiveness of the medicine.
One of the major side effects of using this medicine is the risk of developing problems with the esophagus, teeth, and jaws. As such, patients are required to follow the directions for using this tablet very closely to reduce the risks of these effects.
Ibandronate is sensitive to foods, beverages, or other medicines, vitamins or supplements taken by the patient around the time of taking their dose. Absorption of the medicine by the body may be significantly affected, causing it to lose its full effect.
Incidentally, although this medicine helps reduce certain bone fractures, it also increases the risk of thigh bone fractures.