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Boniva is a bisphosphonate medication that treats and prevents osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. After menopause, estrogen levels drop and there can be an increased rate of bone loss leading to osteoporosis, and Boniva or the generic alternative Ibandronate has been shown to increase bone density and decrease fractures of bones. Boniva is available as a once-monthly pill or can be taken daily at a lower dosage. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
Your bones are changing constantly. Osteoclasts are special cells in your body whose job it is to remove bone (resorption). Another type of cell in your body is called osteoblasts and they are the bone-forming cells. There is usually a happy balance of osteoclasts and osteoblasts forming and removing bone. When menopause looms, the decline of estrogen offsets this balance so your bone is being removed faster than it can be replaced resulting in bone loss.
When taken as directed, Boniva will work to inhibit the action of the osteoclasts so your old bone will not be removed as quickly while the osteoblasts continue laying down new bone. This helps to increase bone mass to try and prevent bone fractures.
Symptoms of osteoporosis include painful, tender bones and bone fractures, leading to lower back and neck pain. It is important to prevent further bone loss and increase bone density, which is why your doctor may prescribe Boniva.
Your doctor may also recommend taking Boniva for relief and control of the symptoms of Paget’s disease. Paget’s disease is a chronic bone disorder that acts much like osteoporosis in that it involves bone remodeling. However, Paget’s disease usually results in bone deformation that may progress to the point of surgery to repair or replace joints. Taking Boniva will not cure osteoporosis or Paget’s disease, but it can help you improve bone weakness and avoid possible fractures.
It’s important to tell your doctor about other health conditions you have and any OTC or Rx drugs you currently take or use, including vitamin supplements and herbal remedies. This will help your doctor determine if Boniva is the best medication for you.
Boniva tablets can cause stomach or esophageal problems so advise your doctor if you are unable to sit upright or stand for at least one hour after taking it. Inform your physician if you have esophagus or stomach ulcers, trouble swallowing, or a vitamin D deficiency. Do not start any new meds while taking Boniva as some meds may not react well when combined.
More serious side effects of Ibandronate generic or brand are rare and should be brought to your doctor’s attention immediately. These include rash, difficulty swallowing, painful gums and loosened teeth.