Risedronate is used to prevent the following underlying conditions:

  • Osteoporosis in women after menopause
  • Paget’s disease of bone
  • Glucocorticoid use for an extended period of time causes osteoporosis
  • Osteoporosis in men

IUPAC name: (1-hydroxy-1-phosphono-2-pyridin-3-ylethyl)phosphonic acid

Drug class: Bisphosphonates

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Route of administration: Oral

Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

Is it an OTC drug? NO

Mechanism of action

Risedronate works by inhibiting the activity of osteoclasts (bone resorption). As a result, it helps to prevent the loss of bone density and minimizes the risk of bone fractures.

Side effects

Common side effects may include nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, weakness/tiredness, muscle pain.

Serious side effects may include swelling of joints/hands/legs/ankles, severe pain in joints/bone/muscle, black, tarry stools, pain in chest, severe heartburn, unusual pain in groin/thighs/hips, ulcers in esophagus, rash/itching/hives, change in vision, difficulty breathing, pain in jaw, severe abdominal pain.


Take the following precautions before using this medication and notify your doctor:

  • If you are allergic  to bisphosphonates or any other allergens.
  • If you have a medical history of achalasia (esophageal disorder), swallowing difficulties, low calcium levels, kidney disease, or ulcers.
  • If you cannot sit or stand upright for at least 30 minutes.
  • If you have a problem with your jawbone or are in pain.
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

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