Ibandronate (By mouth)


Ibandronate (eye-BAN-droe-nate)

Treats or prevents osteoporosis (weak bones).

Brand Name(s)


When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine


  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • Follow your doctor's instructions if you need to take calcium and vitamin D supplements.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • If you take this medicine 1 time each month, take it on the same date each month. Choose a day that best fits your activity schedule and will be easy for you to remember.
  • If any of this medicine stays in your esophagus, it may cause serious damage. To lower the risk of this problem, take the tablets exactly as directed.
  • Take this medicine as soon as you get out of bed in the morning, at least 1 hour (60 minutes) before you eat or drink anything (except water). Swallow the tablet whole with a large glass (6 to 8 ounces) of plain water only (not mineral water, coffee, tea, soda, juice, or any other liquid). Do not chew or suck on the tablet.
  • Take this medicine while you are sitting or standing. Do not take it while you are in bed or at bedtime.
  • Wait at least 60 minutes after you take this medicine before you eat or drink anything or take any other medicine. This will help your body absorb the medicine.
  • Do not lie down for at least 60 minutes after you the medicine, and do not lie down until after you have eaten some food.

If a dose is missed:

  • Once a month dose:
    • If your next regular dose is more than 7 days away, take the missed dose the next morning after you remember. Return to your regularly scheduled day of the month for your next dose.
    • If your next regular dose is 1 to 7 days away, wait until then to take your medicine and skip the missed dose. Continue with your normal schedule.
  • Daily dose: If you miss a dose or forget to take your medicine, wait until the next morning to take it.
  • Follow all of the usual instructions about taking the medicine on an empty stomach and not lying down for at least 60 minutes. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using aspirin or products that contain aspirin, or any type of NSAID pain or arthritis medicine (such as diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, Celebrex®, Voltaren®).
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using medicine or receiving treatments that weaken your immune system, such as cancer treatment, radiation treatment, or steroids (such as dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, methylprednisolone, prednisolone, prednisone, Medrol®).
  • Wait at least 60 minutes after you take ibandronate before you take any other oral medicine, including aluminum, magnesium, iron, or calcium supplements and antacids (such as Maalox®, Mylanta®, Tums®).
  • This medicine may interact with the dye used for bone scans.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, stomach ulcers, heartburn, or any other stomach or bowel problems. Tell your doctor if you have a mineral imbalance or trouble absorbing minerals in your stomach (malabsorption syndrome).
  • This medicine may harm your throat and esophagus. Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have heartburn (either new or worse than usual), pain when swallowing, pain in the center of your chest, trouble swallowing, or a feeling that food gets stuck on the way to your stomach.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine could cause jaw problems, especially if you have a tooth pulled or have other dental work. Tell your doctor or dentist if you have pain, swelling, or other problems in your mouth or jaw. Make sure your doctor knows about dental problems that you already have and if you wear dentures. Also tell your doctor if you have cancer, anemia, or blood clotting problems, because you could be more likely to develop jaw problems.
  • This medicine could lower the amount of calcium in your blood. Call your doctor right away if you develop any signs of low calcium levels, such as muscle spasms or twitching, or numbness or tingling in your fingers, toes, or lips.
  • This medicine may increase your risk of breaking a thigh bone. This may be more common if you use it for a long time. Check with your doctor right away if you have dull or aching pain in the thigh, groin, or hips.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Chest pain, heartburn, or burning in your throat
  • Difficult or painful swallowing
  • Heavy feeling in the jaw, loose teeth, or other teeth problems
  • Muscle spasms, twitching, tingling, numbness
  • Pain, swelling, or numbness in the mouth or jaw
  • Severe bone, joint, or muscle pain
  • Unusual or severe stomach pain
  • Unusual pain in the thigh, groin, or hip

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Diarrhea, nausea
  • Fever, chills, cough, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and body aches

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 8/4/2014

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch)

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2013 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.