Ibandronate acts as a bisphosphonate medication, which means it can modify how bones form and break down in the body. Typically, it increases bone mass and reduces the risk of spinal fractures. As a result, this type of medication works best to help slow down bone loss and prevent bone fractures. It can also help treat or prevent osteoporosis in women after menopause.
As typically only part of a treatment program, ibandronate should be taken as directed by your doctor and prescription label for the best results. Other aspects of the treatment program may include diet changes, exercising, bone mineral density testing, and taking supplements for calcium and other vitamins.
To get the most out of ibandronate, avoid taking other medication and supplements for 60 minutes after taking ibandronate. Otherwise, your body will have a harder time absorbing the ibandronate.
To maintain healthy bone density, try to reduce or eliminate any smoking. Smoking can reduce bone mineral density, countering any beneficial bone growth promoted by ibandronate.
The same goes for alcohol. If you enjoy heavy drinking, you should try to reduce it for the time being. Enough alcohol can also cause bone loss.
Another issue to keep an eye on is dental hygiene. Make sure to brush and floss them routinely.
This medication can cause a number of side effects. More common ones include diarrhea, arm/leg pain, headaches, and fever.
Other less likely side effects are ones you should watch out for. These can include chest pain, difficulty swallowing, severe heartburn, jaw pain, severe bone or muscle pain, and low calcium levels.
If you have any of the latter side effects, stop taking ibandronate and call your doctor right away.