Side Effects of Boniva (Ibandronate)

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Boniva is a brand name version of the prescription drug ibandronate, a medication used to treat and prevent osteoporosis. Taken in tablet form, Boniva helps build bone mass and increase bone strength. Boniva is available to postmenopausal women to counteract bone loss. The side effects of Boniva or ibandronate most commonly include headache, pain in the arms and legs, nausea, and diarrhea.

Boniva is a type of medicine known as a bisphosphonate, a type of drug taken by millions to combat osteoporosis. Osteoporosis attacks bone density and increases the risk of fractures and breaks. Boniva specifically is available to women only; the FDA has not yet approved it for men. It is typically taken once daily with a full glass of water on an empty stomach, per the National Institutes of Health.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the most frequently reported side effects of Boniva or ibandronate include headache, dizziness, congestion of the ears, arm or leg pain, and hoarseness. Stomach discomfort, nausea, and diarrhea are also common side effects of Boniva. Additional mild side effects of Boniva include fever, chills, a persistent urge to urinate, and pain or burning during urination.

More severe side effects of Boniva or ibandronate are less common, but they may indicate a complication or allergy. According to the National Institutes of Health, these include swelling or pain in the gums, pain or trouble swallowing, loosened teeth, a numbed jaw, and chest pain. An allergic reaction can be characterized by shortness of breath, hives or skin rash, itching, and swelling particularly of the throat and face. If any of these side effects of Boniva develop, contact your doctor immediately.

Extended use of bisphosphonate drugs may also cause more serious complications. WebMD reports that a recent Oxford University study found that long-term use of Boniva or other bone-building medications may significantly increase the risk of esophageal cancer. This is possibly due to an acid reflux side effect experienced when bisphosphonates are taken with food. As such, Boniva should be taken on an empty stomach.

Boniva, also known as ibandronate, is a prescription medication that is used to prevent and treat osteoporosis. It is primarily used by postmenopausal women, the group with the highest risk for osteoporosis. Side effects of Boniva or ibandronate a mostly mild and include nausea, diarrhea, and headache. Other side effects can be more severe or indicative of an adverse reaction. Talk to your doctor if you experience any serious side effects while taking Boniva.

References:

Boyles, S (2010). Osteoporosis Drugs May Be Linked to Cancer Risk. WebMD.

Ibandronate. National Institutes of Health.

Ibandronate (Oral Route). Mayo Clinic.

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