Ibandronate is used to prevent and treat certain types of bone loss (osteoporosis). Osteoporosis causes bones to become thinner and break more easily. Your chance of developing osteoporosis increases after menopause, as you age, or if you take corticosteroid medications (such as prednisone) for long periods.
This medication works by slowing bone loss to help maintain strong bones and reduce the risk of broken bones (fractures). Ibandronate belongs to a class of medications called bisphosphonates.
Stomach upset, diarrhea, pain in arms/legs, or mild flu-like symptoms (such as fatigue, muscle ache) may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: increased or severe bone/joint/muscle pain, new or unusual hip/thigh/groin pain, jaw pain, vision changes.
This medication may rarely cause irritation and ulcers in your stomach or esophagus. Get medical help right away if any of these serious side effects occur: new/severe/worsening heartburn, chest pain, difficult or painful swallowing, severe stomach/abdominal pain, black/tarry stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Before taking ibandronate, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other bisphosphonates (such as alendronate, etidronate, pamidronate, risedronate); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: esophagus problems (such as heartburn, narrowing of the esophagus, achalasia), low blood calcium levels (hypocalcemia), inability to sit upright or stand for 60 minutes, difficult or painful swallowing, stomach/intestinal disorders (such as ulcers), severe kidney disease.
Some people taking ibandronate may have serious jawbone problems. Your doctor should check your mouth before you start this medication. Tell your dentist that you are taking this medication before you have any dental work done. To help prevent jawbone problems, have regular dental exams and learn how to keep your teeth and gums healthy. If you have jaw pain, tell your doctor and dentist right away.
Before having surgery (especially dental procedures), tell your doctor and dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). Your doctor or dentist may tell you to stop taking ibandronate before your surgery. Ask for specific instructions about stopping or starting this medication.
Caution is advised if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant in the future. This medication may stay in your body for many years. Its effects on an unborn baby are not known. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor before starting treatment with ibandronate.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.