Friday, September 22, 2023

Bisphosphonates : Precautions, Side-effects and More

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Quick Information

  1. Introduction
  2. Uses
  3. Intravenous treatment
  4. How to take
  5. Side-effects
  6. Precautions


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Bisphosphonate are a group of medicines that prevent the loss of bone density and can be used in the treatment of osteoporosis and other similar diseases. They are one of the most common medications prescribed, which can be used to treat osteoporosis. This group of medicines is also lowering the risk of any fracture in post-menopausal women who are suffering from osteoporosis.

These medicines prevent the digestion of bone by promoting osteoclasts for undergoing apoptosis or cell death, so slowing bone loss. Bisphosphonates are used in the treatment of bone metastasis, fibrous dysplasia, multiple myeloma, and many more.


Bisphosphonates are used to treat Paget’s disease and osteoporosis of bone that can be used to lower high calcium levels in people with the problem of cancer. If you use bisphosphonates in the treatment of osteoporosis, the best duration of treatment is not yet known. But, most of the benefits appear to happen within the first five years of treatment with long-term use has been linked with osteonecrosis of the jaw and atypical femur fractures. According to experts, they recommend the need for bisphosphonate treatment should be viewed in three to five years. This group of medicines can also be used for lowering the risk of spine and hip fractures in osteoporosis.

Intravenous treatment

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If you cannot take bisphosphonates through the mouth orally then should use as a drip into a vein or as an injection are given below –

  • Ibandronate can be taken via the mouth monthly or by intravenous injection for every three months.
  • Pamidronate is taken as an infusion for around an hour that should be repeated every three months.
  • Zoledronate is also used as an infusion, takes 20 minutes or more, and is given once a year for treatment.

How to take

These medicines are taken via the mouth orally through an injection or drip. Due to the use of long-term of these medicines, they can sometimes have side effects. Thus, as per the doctors, they may suggest a break from treatment after 3 to 5 years to prevent side effects.

Several different bisphosphonates can be taken in three ways are given below –

  • By a drip into a vein
  • Orally (By mouth)
  • Through an injection into a vein
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You should take these medicines on an empty stomach with a full glass of water or two of plain water. After taking this medicine, do not drink or eat anything other than tap water or avoid any other supplements or medicine for at least 30 minutes afterward that helps in ensuring the medication is effectively absorbed. Do not sleep suddenly after taking this medicine until after you have eaten. You will need to sit, walk, or stand after taking this medicine that prevents heartburn.


There are some of the side effects after taking these group of medicines are given below –

  • Sore mouth
  • Muscle pain
  • Headaches
  • Bone pain
  • Itchy rashes
  • Flu-like symptoms

If you have any one of the side effects after taking bisphosphonate then immediately talk to your doctor for any medical help.


There are some of the precautions before or after taking this medicine are given below –

  • Do not take a large amount of alcohol during medication as it may increase the risk factor for osteoporosis.
  • Before taking Bisphosphonates, consult with your doctor if you are pregnant as it may be harmful to your unborn baby.
  • You should take this medicine with a daily supplement of vitamin D or calcium because the lack of vitamin D and calcium may reduce the effect of bisphosphonates.
  • If you have any dental problem then it can be best for you that after treatment of dental problem then use this medicine.
  • You should follow all the instructions on your prescriptions before taking this medicine for treatment.
  • Do not take this medicine if you are breastfeeding a child as it may pass into breast milk and harmful effects on your baby.
  • If you feel any chest pain, heartburn, problem in swallowing, or any other problems then stop taking this medicine and consult with your doctor.
  • Do not take bisphosphonates, if you have any kidney problems. Thus, you can do several blood tests for checking your function of kidneys before taking these medicines.


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