Ibandronate is a prescription medication designed for the treatment of osteoporosis. It is available in several different formats and is intended for use in women who have entered menopause. The medication may be used in men during clinical trials and in younger women in special circumstances. This medication is extremely potent and it is important to follow dosing instructions carefully.
This drug is in a class of drugs known as bisphosphonates. These medications work by slowing the breakdown of bone cells. When taken over an extended period of time, they prevent loss of bone mass, keep bones stronger and healthier, and reduce the risk of fractures associated with thin and brittle bones. Fractures are a serious risk for osteoporosis patients and taking medications that reduce fracture risk can prevent the need for invasive and traumatic surgeries in the wake of injuries like hip fractures.
Ibandronate can be taken daily or monthly in tablet form, with the monthly tablets coming in a very high dosage. It can also be offered by injection every three months. Patients who have trouble adhering to oral medication regimens or who cannot take oral medications can take the injectable form of this medication. In the case of patients taking the oral medication, ibandronate needs to be taken first thing in the day with plain water. People should sit upright by taking the drug and should not lie down, take other medications, or eat within an hour of an ibandronate dose. If a dose is missed, it should be skipped and the patient should return to the regular dosing schedule the next day.
This medication can interact negatively with some preexisting medical conditions and other prescriptions. When ibandronate is prescribed, patients should make sure their doctors are familiar with their complete medical histories, in case there are any entries in their medical histories that are contraindications for ibandronate. Patients on this medication should discuss it with their doctors when new medications are prescribed, as there may be a conflict.
Ibandronate can cause muscle, joint, and bone pain. It can also be associated with jaw problems. Patients may be advised to visit a dentist before taking ibandronate to make sure that they are good candidates for the medication and it is important to make regular dental visits to confirm that the teeth and jaws are in good health. If patients experience extreme side effects, alternative medications are available.