Basic Drug Info
Manufacturer:Merck & Co., Inc.
Other Info:

In addition to FOSAMAX, your doctor may suggest one or more of the following lifestyle changes:Stop smoking.

Smoking may increase your chance of getting osteoporosis.Reduce the use of alcohol.

Too much alcohol may increase the risk of osteoporosis and injuries that can cause fractures.Exercise regularly.

Like muscles, bones need exercise to stay strong and healthy.

Exercise must be safe to prevent injuries, including fractures.

Talk with your doctor before you begin any exercise program.Eat a balanced diet.

Having enough calcium in your diet is important.

Your doctor can advise you whether you need to change your diet or take any dietary supplements, such as calcium or vitamin D.Rx OnlyMERCK & CO., INC.Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889, USAIssued February 20089636808

Clinical Trials:

Indications and Usage

FOSAMAX is indicated for:Treatment and prevention of osteoporosis in postmenopausal womenFor the treatment of osteoporosis, FOSAMAX increases bone mass and reduces the incidence of fractures, including those of the hip and spine (vertebral compression fractures).

Osteoporosis may be confirmed by the finding of low bone mass (for example, at least 2 standard deviations below the premenopausal mean) or by the presence or history of osteoporotic fracture.

(See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, Pharmacodynamics.)For the prevention of osteoporosis, FOSAMAX may be considered in postmenopausal women who are at risk of developing osteoporosis and for whom the desired clinical outcome is to maintain bone mass and to reduce the risk of future fracture.Bone loss is particularly rapid in postmenopausal women younger than age 60.

Risk factors often associated with the development of postmenopausal osteoporosis include early menopause; moderately low bone mass (for example, at least 1 standard deviation below the mean for healthy young adult women); thin body build; Caucasian or Asian race; and family history of osteoporosis.

The presence of such risk factors may be important when considering the use of FOSAMAX for prevention of osteoporosis.Treatment to increase bone mass in men with osteoporosisTreatment of glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis in men and women receiving glucocorticoids in a daily dosage equivalent to 7.5 mg or greater of prednisone and who have low bone mineral density (see PRECAUTIONS, Glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis).

Patients treated with glucocorticoids should receive adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D.Treatment of Paget's disease of bone in men and womenTreatment is indicated in patients with Paget's disease of bone having alkaline phosphatase at least two times the upper limit of normal, or those who are symptomatic, or those at risk for future complications from their disease.
Osteoporosis -- Reduction of bone mass without alteration in the composition of bone, leading to fractures. Primary osteoporosis can be of two major types: postmenopausal osteoporosis (OSTEOPOROSIS, POSTMENOPAUSAL) and age-related or senile osteoporosis.

Signs and Symptoms -- Clinical manifestations that can be either objective when observed by a physician, or subjective when perceived by the patient.


Osteopenia -- decreased calcification, bone density, or bone mass due to inadequate osteoid synthesis.

Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal -- Metabolic disorder associated with fractures of the femoral neck, vertebrae, and distal forearm. It occurs commonly in women within 15-20 years after menopause, and is caused by factors associated with menopause including estrogen deficiency.

Osteitis Deformans -- A disease marked by repeated episodes of increased bone resorption followed by excessive attempts at repair, resulting in weakened, deformed bones of increased mass. The resultant architecture of the bone assumes a mosaic pattern in which the fibers take on a haphazard pattern instead of the normal parallel symmetry.

Paget's Disease -- A malignant neoplasm composed of large cells with large nuclei, prominent nucleoli, and abundant pale cytoplasm (Paget cells). Paget cell neoplasms include Paget disease of the nipple and extramammary Paget disease which may affect the vulva, penis, anus, skin and scrotum. -- 2004

Complication -- Any disease or disorder that occurs during the course of (or because of) another disease.

Complication Aspects -- Used with diseases to indicate conditions that co-exist or follow, i.e., co-existing diseases, complications, or sequelae.

Disease -- A definite pathologic process with a characteristic set of signs and symptoms. It may affect the whole body or any of its parts, and its etiology, pathology, and prognosis may be known or unknown.

Abnormalities of the esophagus which delay esophageal emptying such as stricture or achalasiaInability to stand or sit upright for at least 30 minutesPatients at increased risk of aspiration should not receive FOSAMAX oral solution.Hypersensitivity to any component of this productHypocalcemia (see PRECAUTIONS, General)
Pulmonary aspiration --

Hypersensitivity -- Altered reactivity to an antigen, which can result in pathologic reactions upon subsequent exposure to that particular antigen.


FOSAMAX, like other bisphosphonates, may cause local irritation of the upper gastrointestinal mucosa.Esophageal adverse experiences, such as esophagitis, esophageal ulcers and esophageal erosions, occasionally with bleeding and rarely followed by esophageal stricture or perforation, have been reported in patients receiving treatment with FOSAMAX.

In some cases these have been severe and required hospitalization.

Physicians should therefore be alert to any signs or symptoms signaling a possible esophageal reaction and patients should be instructed to discontinue FOSAMAX and seek medical attention if they develop dysphagia, odynophagia, retrosternal pain or new or worsening heartburn.The risk of severe esophageal adverse experiences appears to be greater in patients who lie down after taking FOSAMAX and/or who fail to swallow it with the recommended amount of water, and/or who continue to take FOSAMAX after developing symptoms suggestive of esophageal irritation.

Therefore, it is very important that the full dosing instructions are provided to, and understood by, the patient (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

In patients who cannot comply with dosing instructions due to mental disability, therapy with FOSAMAX should be used under appropriate supervision.Because of possible irritant effects of FOSAMAX on the upper gastrointestinal mucosa and a potential for worsening of the underlying disease, caution should be used when FOSAMAX is given to patients with active upper gastrointestinal problems (such as dysphagia, esophageal diseases, gastritis, duodenitis, or ulcers).There have been post-marketing reports of gastric and duodenal ulcers, some severe and with complications, although no increased risk was observed in controlled clinical trials.

This web-site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your doctor. It should not to be used for self-diagnosis or treatment.