Fosamax (Alendronate)

The bisphosphonates are a group of drugs that are very good at building up bone. They have been tested in both men and women. As a group, the bisphosphonates are poorly absorbed. They need to be taken on an empty stomach in order to ensure the best absorption. After absorption, they bind tightly to the bone cells, slowing down bone loss and allowing your bone-building cells to increase your bone density.

The typical dose for Fosamax is 10 milligrams (mg) per day or a 70 mg dose once a week. Bisphosphonates stay active in the bones for over a week. Fosamax has been shown to increase bone density and reduce the risk of fracture at both the spine and hip.


  • Fosamax is very effective at building bone in the spine, hip, and other areas. It can also reduce fractures in both the spine and hip.
  • The drug is effective for both men and women.
  • Fosamax has few major side effects and does not increase the risk of cancer.


  • Because Fosamax is not absorbed well by the intestines, patients must take it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Patients cannot eat or lie down for 30 minutes afterward to help absorption.
  • Fosamax may cause an upset stomach and irritation to the esophagus (food pipe). Patients with certain stomach and esophageal disorders should not take it.