Fosamax Plus D

alendronate - cholecalciferol

By Merck

What is this medication for?

Alendronate - cholecalciferol is a combination medication that contains alendronate and cholecalciferol.

Alendronate belongs to a group of medications called bisphosphonates. It makes bones less likely to break by increasing their density.

Cholecalciferol, also called vitamin D3, is a vitamin that is needed for calcium absorption and healthy bones.

Alendronate - cholecalciferol is used to treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women and to increase bone mass in men with osteoporosis.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Fosamax Plus D® is available as:

  • tablets
    • alendronate 70 mg and cholecalciferol 2,800 IU
    • alendronate 70 mg and cholecalciferol 5,600 IU
Some medications may have other generic brands available. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of switching between brands of the same medication.

How should I use this medication?

The usual recommended adult dosage is one tablet once weekly. Alendronate - cholecalciferol should be taken first thing in the morning when you get up, at least half an hour before you take your first food, beverage, or other medication of the day.

To reduce the risk of irritating the throat or esophagus, take the tablet with a full glass (8 ounces or 250 mL) of plain water only. If your normal drinking water is classified as "hard water," it may decrease the absorption of this medication and you should consider taking it with distilled water.

After swallowing, do not lie down until at least 30 minutes have passed and you have eaten your first food of the day. Do not take this medication at bedtime or before getting out of bed in the morning. Swallow the tablets whole. Do not chew or suck on the tablets.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose when taking this medication once weekly, take the missed dose the morning after you remember. Then, return to your weekly dose on the original day of the week. Do not take two doses on the same day. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children. Store the tablets in the original blister package until use.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not take this medication if you:

  • are allergic to alendronate, cholecalciferol, or any of the ingredients of the medication
  • cannot stand or sit upright for at least 30 minutes
  • have an abnormality of the esophagus (passage leading from throat to stomach) that delays the emptying of the esophagus into the stomach
  • have low blood calcium
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The contents of this health site are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition.

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