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Actonel

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Actonel

Actonel Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

Actonel (risedronate sodium) is used to treat or prevent osteoporosis in men and women, and is also used to treat Paget's disease of bone. It is a bisphosphonate. This medication is available in generic form. Common side effects include upset stomach or headache.

Dosage of Actonel depends on the condition being treated. Actonel may interact with antacids, supplements, or medicines that contain aluminum, calcium, magnesium. Other minerals can interfere with how your body absorbs this drug. It may also interact with aspirin or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Caution is advised if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant in the future. This medication may stay in your body for many years. Its effects on a fetus are not known. Consult your doctor. It is not known if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Our Actonel (risedronate sodium) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is Patient Information in Detail?

Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.

Actonel in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using risedronate and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • chest pain;
  • difficulty or pain when swallowing;
  • pain or burning under the ribs or in the back;
  • new or worsening heartburn;
  • severe or ongoing indigestion;
  • severe joint, bone, or muscle pain;
  • new or unusual pain in your thigh or hip; or
  • jaw pain, numbness, or swelling.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild stomach pain or upset stomach;
  • flu symptoms, muscle pain;
  • diarrhea, constipation;
  • mild joint or back pain; or
  • headache.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1 800 FDA 1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Actonel (Risedronate Sodium) »

What is Patient Information Overview?

A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.

Actonel Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects

SIDE EFFECTS: Upset stomach may occur. If this effect persists or worsens, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: increased or severe bone/joint/muscle pain, new or unusual hip/thigh/groin pain, jaw pain, eye/vision problems.

This medication may infrequently cause irritation and ulcers in your stomach or esophagus. Get medical help right away if any of these serious side effects occur: new/severe/worsening heartburn, chest pain, difficult or painful swallowing, severe stomach/abdominal pain, black/tarry stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

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

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Read the entire patient information overview for Actonel (Risedronate Sodium)»

What is Prescribing information?

The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.

Actonel FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
(Adverse Reactions)

SIDE EFFECTS

Clinical Studies Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Treatment of Postmenopausal Osteoporosis

Daily Dosing

The safety of Actonel 5 mg once daily in the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis was assessed in four randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multinational trials of 3232 women aged 38 to 85 years with postmenopausal osteoporosis. The duration of the trials was up to three years, with 1619 patients exposed to placebo and 1613 patients exposed to Actonel 5 mg. Patients with pre-existing gastrointestinal disease and concomitant use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, proton pump inhibitors, and H2 antagonists were included in these clinical trials. All women received 1000 mg of elemental calcium plus vitamin D supplementation up to 500 international units per day if their 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 level was below normal at baseline.

The incidence of all-cause mortality was 2.0% in the placebo group and 1.7% in the Actonel 5 mg daily group. The incidence of serious adverse events was 24.6% in the placebo group and 27.2% in the Actonel 5 mg group. The percentage of patients who withdrew from the study due to adverse events was 15.6% in the placebo group and 14.8% in the Actonel 5 mg group. The most common adverse reactions reported in greater than 10 percent of subjects were: back pain, arthralgia, abdominal pain and dyspepsia. Table 1 lists adverse events from the Phase 3 postmenopausal osteoporosis trials reported in greater than or equal to 5% of patients. Adverse events are shown without attribution of causality.

Table 1 : Adverse Events Occurring at a Frequency greater than or equal to 5% in Either Treatment Group Combined Phase 3 Postmenopausal Osteoporosis Treatment Trials

Body System Placebo
N = 1619
%
5 mg Actonel
N = 1613
%
Body as a Whole
  Infection 29.9 31.1
  Back Pain 26.1 28.0
  Accidental Injury 16.8 16.9
  Pain 14.0 14.1
  Abdominal Pain 9.9 12.2
  Flu Syndrome 11.6 10.5
  Headache 10.8 9.9
  Asthenia 4.5 5.4
  Neck Pain 4.7 5.4
  Chest Pain 5.1 5.0
  Allergic Reaction 5.9 3.8
Cardiovascular System
  Hypertension 9.8 10.5
Digestive System
  Constipation 12.6 12.9
  Diarrhea 10.0 10.8
  Dyspepsia 10.6 10.8
  Nausea 11.2 10.5
Metabolic & Nutritional Disorders
  Peripheral Edema 8.8 7.7
Musculoskeletal System
  Arthralgia 22.1 23.7
  Arthritis 10.1 9.6
  Traumatic Bone Fracture 12.3 9.3
  Joint Disorder 5.3 7.0
  Myalgia 6.2 6.7
  Bone Pain 4.8 5.3
Nervous System
  Dizziness 5.7 7.1
  Depression 6.1 6.8
  Insomnia 4.6 5.0
Respiratory System
  Bronchitis 10.4 10.0
  Sinusitis 9.1 8.7
  Rhinitis 5.1 6.2
  Pharyngitis 5.0 6.0
  Increased Cough 6.3 5.9
Skin and Appendages
  Rash 7.1 7.9
Special Senses
  Cataract 5.7 6.5
Urogenital System
  Urinary Tract Infection 10.4 11.1

Gastrointestinal Adverse Events

The incidence of adverse events in the placebo and Actonel 5 mg daily groups were: abdominal pain (9.9% versus 12.2%), diarrhea (10.0% versus 10.8%), dyspepsia (10.6% versus 10.8%), and gastritis (2.3% versus 2.7%). Duodenitis and glossitis have been reported uncommonly in the Actonel 5 mg daily group (0.1% to 1%). In patients with active upper gastrointestinal disease at baseline, the incidence of upper gastrointestinal adverse events was similar between the placebo and Actonel 5 mg daily groups.

Musculoskeletal Adverse Events

The incidence of adverse events in the placebo and Actonel 5 mg daily groups were: back pain (26.1% versus 28.0%), arthralgia (22.1% versus 23.7%), myalgia (6.2% versus 6.7%), and bone pain (4.8% versus 5.3%).

Laboratory Test Findings

Throughout the Phase 3 studies, transient decreases from baseline in serum calcium (less than 1%) and serum phosphate (less than 3%) and compensatory increases in serum PTH levels (less than 30%) were observed within 6 months in patients in osteoporosis clinical trials treated with Actonel 5 mg once daily. There were no significant differences in serum calcium, phosphate, or PTH levels between placebo and Actonel 5 mg once daily at 3 years. Serum calcium levels below 8 mg/dL were observed in 18 patients, 9 (0.5%) in each treatment arm (placebo and Actonel 5 mg once daily). Serum phosphorus levels below 2 mg/dL were observed in 14 patients, 3 (0.2%) treated with placebo and 11 (0.6%) treated with Actonel 5 mg once daily. There have been rare reports (less than 0.1%) of abnormal liver function tests.

Endoscopic Findings

In the Actonel clinical trials, endoscopic evaluation was encouraged in any patient with moderate-to-severe gastrointestinal complaints, while maintaining the blind. Endoscopies were performed on equal numbers of patients between the placebo and treated groups [75 (14.5%) placebo; 75 (11.9%) Actonel]. Clinically important findings (perforations, ulcers, or bleeding) among this symptomatic population were similar between groups (51% placebo; 39% Actonel).

Once-a-Week Dosing

The safety of Actonel 35 mg once-a-week in the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis was assessed in a 1-year, double-blind, multicenter study comparing Actonel 5 mg daily and Actonel 35 mg once-a-week in postmenopausal women aged 50 to 95 years. The duration of the trials was one year, with 480 patients exposed to ACTONEL 5 mg daily and 485 exposed to Actonel 35 mg once-a-week. Patients with pre-existing gastrointestinal disease and concomitant use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, proton pump inhibitors, and H2 antagonists were included in these clinical trials. All women received 1000 mg of elemental calcium plus vitamin D supplementation up to 500 international units per day if their 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 level was below normal at baseline.

The incidence of all-cause mortality was 0.4% in the Actonel 5 mg daily group and 1.0% in the Actonel 35 mg once-a-week group. The incidence of serious adverse events was 7.1% in the Actonel 5 mg daily group and 8.2% in the Actonel 35 mg once-a-week group. The percentage of patients who withdrew from the study due to adverse events was 11.9% in the Actonel 5 mg daily group and 11.5% in the Actonel 35 mg once-a-week group. The overall safety and tolerability profiles of the two dosing regimens were similar.

Gastrointestinal Adverse Events

The incidence of gastrointestinal adverse events was similar between the Actonel 5 mg daily group and the Actonel 35 mg once-a-week group: dyspepsia (6.9% versus 7.6%), diarrhea (6.3% versus 4.9%), and abdominal pain (7.3% versus 7.6%).

Musculoskeletal Adverse Events

Arthralgia was reported in 11.5% of patients in the Actonel 5 mg daily group and 14.2% of patients in the Actonel 35 mg once-a-week group. Myalgia was reported by 4.6% of patients in the Actonel 5 mg daily group and 6.2% of patients in the Actonel 35 mg once-a-week group.

Laboratory Test Findings

The mean percent changes from baseline at 12 months were similar between the Actonel 5 mg daily and Actonel 35 mg once-a-week groups, respectively, for serum calcium (0.4% versus 0.7%), phosphate (-3.8% versus -2.6%) and PTH (6.4% versus 4.2%).

Monthly Dosing

Two Consecutive Days per Month

The safety of Actonel 75 mg administered on two consecutive days per month for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis was assessed in a double-blind, multicenter study in postmenopausal women aged 50 to 86 years. The duration of the trial was two years; 613 patients were exposed to Actonel 5 mg daily and 616 were exposed to Actonel 75 mg two consecutive days per month. Patients with pre-existing gastrointestinal disease and concomitant use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, proton pump inhibitors, and H2 antagonists were included in this clinical trial. All women received 1000 mg of elemental calcium plus 400 to 800 international units of vitamin D supplementation per day.

The incidence of all-cause mortality was 1.0% for the Actonel 5 mg daily group and 0.5% for the Actonel 75 mg two consecutive days per month group. The incidence of serious adverse events was 10.8% in the Actonel 5 mg daily group and 14.4% in the Actonel 75 mg two consecutive days per month group. The percentage of patients who withdrew from treatment due to adverse events was 14.2% in the Actonel 5 mg daily group and 13.0% in the Actonel 75 mg two consecutive days per month group. The overall safety and tolerability profiles of the two dosing regimens were similar.

Acute Phase Reactions

Symptoms consistent with acute phase reaction have been reported with bisphosphonate use. The overall incidence of acute phase reaction was 3.6% of patients on Actonel 5 mg daily and 7.6% of patients on Actonel 75 mg two consecutive days per month. These incidence rates are based on reporting of any of 33 acute phase reaction-like symptoms within 5 days of the first dose. Fever or influenza-like illness with onset within the same period were reported by 0.0% of patients on Actonel 5 mg daily and 0.6% of patients on Actonel 75 mg two consecutive days per month.

Gastrointestinal Adverse Events

The Actonel 75 mg two consecutive days per month group resulted in a higher incidence of discontinuation due to vomiting (1.0% versus 0.2%) and diarrhea (1.0% versus 0.3%) compared to the Actonel 5 mg daily group. Most of these events occurred within a few days of dosing.

Ocular Adverse Events

None of the patients treated with Actonel 75 mg two consecutive days per month reported ocular inflammation such as uveitis, scleritis, or iritis; 1 patient treated with Actonel 5 mg daily reported uveitis.

Laboratory Test Findings

When Actonel 5 mg daily and Actonel 75 mg two consecutive days per month were compared in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, the mean percent changes from baseline at 24 months were 0.2% and 0.8% for serum calcium, -1.9% and -1.3% for phosphate, and -10.4% and -17.2% for PTH, respectively. Compared to the Actonel 5 mg daily group, Actonel 75 mg two consecutive days per month resulted in a slightly higher incidence of hypocalcemia at the end of the first month of treatment (4.5% versus 3.0%). Thereafter, the incidence of hypocalcemia with these regimens was similar at approximately 2%.

Once-a-Month

The safety of Actonel 150 mg administered once-a-month for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis was assessed in a double-blind, multicenter study in postmenopausal women aged 50 to 88 years. The duration of the trial was one year, with 642 patients exposed to Actonel 5 mg daily and 650 exposed to Actonel 150 mg once-a-month. Patients with pre-existing gastrointestinal disease and concomitant use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, proton pump inhibitors, and H2 antagonists were included in this clinical trial. All women received 1000 mg of elemental calcium plus up to 1000 international units of vitamin D supplementation per day.

The incidence of all-cause mortality was 0.5% for the Actonel 5 mg daily group and 0.0% for the Actonel 150 mg once-a-month group. The incidence of serious adverse events was 4.2% in the Actonel 5 mg daily group and 6.2% in the Actonel 150 mg once-a-month group. The percentage of patients who withdrew from treatment due to adverse events was 9.5% in the Actonel 5 mg daily group and 8.6% in the Actonel 150 mg once-a-month group. The overall safety and tolerability profiles of the two dosing regimens were similar.

Acute Phase Reactions

Symptoms consistent with acute phase reaction have been reported with bisphosphonate use. The overall incidence of acute phase reaction was 1.1% in the Actonel 5 mg daily group and 5.2% in the Actonel 150 mg once-a-month group. These incidence rates are based on reporting of any of 33 acute phase reaction-like symptoms within 3 days of the first dose and for a duration of 7 days or less. Fever or influenza-like illness with onset within the same period were reported by 0.2% of patients on Actonel 5 mg daily and 1.4% of patients on Actonel 150 mg once-a-month.

Gastrointestinal Adverse Events

A greater percentage of patients experienced diarrhea with Actonel 150 mg once-a-month compared to 5 mg daily (8.2% versus 4.7%, respectively). The Actonel 150 mg once-a-month group resulted in a higher incidence of discontinuation due to abdominal pain upper (2.5% versus 1.4%) and diarrhea (0.8% versus 0.0%) compared to the Actonel 5 mg daily regimen. All of these events occurred within a few days of the first dose. The incidence of vomiting that led to discontinuation was the same in both groups (0.3% versus 0.3%).

Ocular Adverse Events

None of the patients treated with Actonel 150 mg once-a-month reported ocular inflammation such as uveitis, scleritis, or iritis; 2 patients treated with Actonel 5 mg daily reported iritis.

Laboratory Test Findings

When Actonel 5 mg daily and Actonel 150 mg once-a-month were compared in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, the mean percent changes from baseline at 12 months were 0.1% and 0.3% for serum calcium, -2.3% and -2.3% for phosphate, and 8.3% and 4.8% for PTH, respectively. Compared to the Actonel 5 mg daily regimen, Actonel 150 mg once-a-month resulted in a slightly higher incidence of hypocalcemia at the end of the first month of treatment (0.2% versus 2.2%). Thereafter, the incidence of hypocalcemia with these regimens was similar at approximately 2%.

Prevention of Postmenopausal Osteoporosis

Daily Dosing

The safety of Actonel 5 mg daily in the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis was assessed in two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. In one study of postmenopausal women aged 37 to 82 years without osteoporosis, the use of estrogen replacement therapy in both placebo- and Actonel -treated patients was included. The duration of the trial was one year, with 259 exposed to placebo and 261 patients exposed to Actonel 5 mg. The second study included postmenopausal women aged 44 to 63 years without osteoporosis. The duration of the trial was one year, with 125 exposed to placebo and 129 patients exposed to Actonel 5 mg. All women received 1000 mg of elemental calcium per day.

In the trial with estrogen replacement therapy, the incidence of all-cause mortality was 1.5% for the placebo group and 0.4% for the Actonel 5 mg group. The incidence of serious adverse events was 8.9% in the placebo group and 5.4% in the Actonel 5 mg group. The percentage of patients who withdrew from treatment due to adverse events was 18.9% in the placebo group and 10.3% in the Actonel 5 mg group. Constipation was reported by 1.9% of the placebo group and 6.5% of Actonel 5 mg group.

In the second trial, the incidence of all-cause mortality was 0.0% for both groups. The incidence of serious adverse events was 17.6% in the placebo group and 9.3% in the Actonel 5 mg group. The percentage of patients who withdrew from treatment due to adverse events was 6.4% in the placebo group and 5.4% in the Actonel 5 mg group. Nausea was reported by 6.4% of patients in the placebo group and 13.2% of patients in the Actonel 5 mg group.

Once-a-Week Dosing

There were no deaths in a 1-year, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of Actonel 35 mg once-a-week for prevention of bone loss in 278 postmenopausal women without osteoporosis. More treated subjects on Actonel reported arthralgia (placebo 7.8%; Actonel 13.9%), myalgia (placebo 2.1%; Actonel 5.1%), and nausea (placebo 4.3%; Actonel 7.3%) than subjects on placebo.

Treatment to Increase Bone Mass in Men with Osteoporosis

In a 2-year, double-blind, multicenter study, 284 men with osteoporosis were treated with placebo (N = 93) or Actonel 35 mg once-a-week (N = 191). The overall safety and tolerability profile of Actonel in men with osteoporosis was similar to the adverse events reported in the Actonel postmenopausal osteoporosis clinical trials, with the addition of benign prostatic hyperplasia (placebo 3%; Actonel 35 mg 5%), nephrolithiasis (placebo 0%; Actonel 35 mg 3%), and arrhythmia (placebo 0%; Actonel 35 mg 2%).

Treatment and Prevention of Glucocorticoid-Induced Osteoporosis

The safety of Actonel 5 mg daily in the treatment and prevention of glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis was assessed in two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multinational trials of 344 patients [male (123) and female (221)] aged 18 to 85 years who had recently initiated oral glucocorticoid therapy (less than or equal to 3 months, prevention study) or were on long-term oral glucocorticoid therapy (greater than or equal to 6 months, treatment study). The duration of the trials was one year, with 170 patients exposed to placebo and 174 patients exposed to Actonel 5 mg daily. Patients in one study received 1000 mg elemental calcium plus 400 international units of vitamin D supplementation per day; patients in the other study received 500 mg calcium supplementation per day.

The incidence of all-cause mortality was 2.9% in the placebo group and 1.1% in the Actonel 5 mg daily group. The incidence of serious adverse events was 33.5% in the placebo group and 30.5% in the Actonel 5 mg daily group. The percentage of patients who withdrew from the study due to adverse events was 8.8% in the placebo group and 7.5% in the Actonel 5 mg daily group. Back pain was reported in 8.8% of patients in the placebo group and 17.8% of patients in the Actonel 5 mg daily group. Arthralgia was reported in 14.7% of patients in the placebo group and 24.7% of patients in the Actonel 5 mg daily group.

Treatment of Paget's Disease

Actonel has been studied in 392 patients with Paget's disease of bone. As in trials of Actonel for other indications, the adverse experiences reported in the Paget's disease trials have generally been mild or moderate, have not required discontinuation of treatment, and have not appeared to be related to patient age, gender, or race.

The safety of Actonel was assessed in a randomized, double-blind, active-controlled study of 122 patients aged 34 to 85 years. The duration of the trial was 540 days, with 61 patients exposed to Actonel and 61 patients exposed to Didronel®. The adverse event profile was similar for Actonel and Didronel: 6.6% (4/61) of patients treated with Actonel 30 mg daily for 2 months discontinued treatment due to adverse events, compared to 8.2% (5/61) of patients treated with Didronel 400 mg daily for 6 months. Table 2 lists adverse events reported in greater than or equal to 5% of Actonel-treated patients in Phase 3 Paget's disease trials. Adverse events shown are considered to be possibly or probably causally related in at least one patient.

Table 2 : Adverse Events Reported in greater than or equal to 5% of Actonel-Treated Patients* in Phase 3 Paget's Disease Trials

Body System 30 mg/day x 2 months Actonel %
(N = 61)
400 mg/day x 6 months Didronel %
(N = 61)
Body as a Whole
  Flu Syndrome 9.8 1.6
  Chest Pain 6.6 3.3
Gastrointestinal
  Diarrhea 19.7 14.8
  Abdominal Pain 11.5 8.2
  Nausea 9.8 9.8
  Constipation 6.6 8.2
Metabolic and Nutritional Disorders
  Peripheral Edema 8.2 6.6
Musculoskeletal
  Arthralgia 32.8 29.5
Nervous
  Headache 18.0 16.4
  Dizziness 6.6 4.9
Skin and Appendages
 Rash 11.5 8.2
*Considered to be possibly or probably causally related in at least one patient.

Gastrointestinal Adverse Events

During the first year of the study (treatment and nontreatment follow-up), the proportion of patients who reported upper gastrointestinal adverse events was similar between the treatment groups; no patients reported severe upper gastrointestinal adverse events. The incidence of diarrhea was 19.7% in the Actonel group and 14.8% in the Didronel group; none were serious or resulted in withdrawal.

Ocular Adverse Events

Three patients who received Actonel 30 mg daily experienced acute iritis in 1 supportive study. All 3 patients recovered from their events; however, in 1 of these patients, the event recurred during Actonel treatment and again during treatment with pamidronate. All patients were effectively treated with topical steroids.

Postmarketing Experience

Because these adverse reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Hypersensitivity Reactions

Hypersensitivity and skin reactions have been reported rarely, including angioedema, generalized rash and bullous skin reactions, some severe.

Gastrointestinal Adverse Events

Events involving upper gastrointestinal irritation, such as esophagitis and esophageal or gastric ulcers, have been reported [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Musculoskeletal Pain

Bone, joint, or muscle pain, described as severe or incapacitating, have been reported rarely [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Eye Inflammation

Reactions of eye inflammation including iritis and uveitis have been reported rarely.

Jaw Osteonecrosis

Osteonecrosis of the jaw has been reported rarely [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Pulmonary

Asthma exacerbations

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Actonel (Risedronate Sodium) »

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Actonel - User Reviews

Actonel User Reviews

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