Ibandronate Sodium (Boniva®)

What is Ibandronate Sodium (Boniva®)?

Ibandronate Sodium is used to treat or prevent osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease which causes bones to become thin.  You are at risk for osteoporosis if you are:

Thin Do not exercise
Smoke Drink alcohol often
Caucasian Do not get enough calcium or vitamin D
Going through or past menopause Have a family history of osteoporosis
Take or have taken bone thinning medications like prednisone

How do I take it?

Ibandronate Sodium may be taken by mouth or make be given as an injection. Ibandronate Sodium tablets are taken once a month.  Take the tablet first thing in the morning before you have had anything to eat or drink.  Swallow the tablet with plain water only. Do no chew or crush the tablet. After taking Ibandronate Sodium wait one hour before: eating or drinking, lying down, taking other medications.

Ibandronate Sodium injections are taken every three months. The injection must be administered by a health care professional.

You should not take Ibandronate Sodium if you are pregnant, breast feeding, have kidney problems, or have low blood calcium. If you cannot sit or stand for at least 1 hour, you should not take the tablet form of this medication.

What about side effects?

The most common side effects with the injection are bone, muscle and joint pains, flu like illness and headache. The flu like symptoms generally disappears after 24-48 hours and usually occurs only after the first injection. The most common side effects with the pill are diarrhea, pain in the extremities, and upset stomach.  Less common side effects may be pain or trouble swallowing, heartburn and stomach ulcers.

Rarely patients have reported severe bone, joint and muscle pain that begins from 1 day to one month after starting any bisphosphonate, including Ibandronate Sodium.  Most patients report relief from these symptoms after stopping the medication.

In rare cases some patients have experienced jaw problems when taking bisphosphonates including Ibandronate Sodium.  This included delayed healing and infection.

What about other medications?

Do not take other medications within 1 hour of taking the Ibandronate Sodium pill.

What else should I know?

Contact your doctor if you have any questions about this or any of your medications.  Contact your doctor if you experience any troubling side effects.

Updated: April 25, 2012

Victoria Ruffing, RN

About Victoria Ruffing, RN

Ms. Ruffing has been a member of the Arthritis Center since 2000, currently serving as the Nurse Manager. She is a critical member of our patient care team.