Consumer Medicine Information
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about Alendrobell (alendronate).
It does not contain all the available information.
It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking Alendrobell against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
If you have any concerns about using/taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet with this medicine. You may need to read it again
What Alendrobell is used for
Alendrobell contains alendronate tablets.
Alendrobell is used to treat osteoporosis.
This condition is caused by changes in the way bone is normally maintained.
Bone is living, growing tissue. Throughout life, our bodies are breaking down old bone and rebuilding new bone in a continuous cycle. Until our late 20s, while bones are still developing, we gain bone by building more than we lose. From then until about age 35 the process is usually in balance, so that the amount of bone lost is about equal to the amount that is replaced. After about age 35 this balance is disturbed, with bone loss occurring at a slightly faster rate than it can be replaced. In women, after menopause, hormonal changes cause bone loss at an even faster rate. When bone loss is excessive, bones can become thinner and weaker, and therefore are more likely to break.
Osteo means bone, and porosis means something that has holes in it, like a sponge. Therefore, osteoporosis is a disease, which causes bones to become more porous, gradually making them weaker, more brittle and likely to break.
Osteoporosis is common in postmenopausal women. The menopause occurs when the ovaries virtually stop producing the female hormone, oestrogen, or are removed (which may occur, for example, at the time of a hysterectomy). At this time, bone is removed faster than it is formed, so bone loss occurs and bones become weaker. The earlier a woman reaches the menopause, the greater the risk of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis also occurs in men but is less common than in women.
Osteoporosis can also occur in people receiving corticosteroid medicines. If taken in high doses or for a long period of time, corticosteroid medicines can cause bone to be removed faster than it is formed. This causes loss of bone and therefore, bones become weaker and are more likely to break.
Maintaining bone mass and preventing further bone loss are important to keep your skeleton healthy.
Early on, osteoporosis usually has no symptoms. However, if left untreated it can result in broken bones, also called fractures. Although fractures usually cause pain, fractures of the bones of the spine may go unnoticed until they cause height loss. Fractures may occur during normal, everyday activity, such as lifting, or from minor injury that would not ordinarily fracture normal bone. Fractures usually occur at the hip, spine, or wrist and can lead not only to pain, but also to considerable deformity and disability, such as stooped posture from curvature of the spine, and loss of mobility.
How does Alendrobell work?
In osteoporosis, it works by slowing down the process of old bone being removed, which allows the bone-forming cells time to rebuild normal bone. Alendrobell not only helps prevent the loss of bone but also actually helps to rebuild bone and makes bone less likely to fracture. Thus, Alendrobell prevents or reverses the progression of osteoporosis. Alendronate starts working on the bone cells immediately, but measurable effects on bone mass may not be seen for several months or more.
Alendronate belongs to a group of non-hormonal medicines called bisphosphonates.
Before you take Alendrobell
You should know that Alendrobell can irritate or burn the food pipe in some people. The chances of this happening should