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Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.


Drug Products With The Same Active Ingredient

Atelvia contains the same active ingredient found in Actonel®. A patient being treated with Actonel should not receive Atelvia.

Upper Gastrointestinal Adverse Reactions

Atelvia, like other bisphosphonates administered orally, may cause local irritation of the upper gastrointestinal mucosa. Because of these possible irritant effects and a potential for worsening of the underlying disease, caution should be used when Atelvia is given to patients with active upper gastrointestinal problems (such as known Barrett's esophagus, dysphagia, other esophageal diseases, gastritis, duodenitis or ulcers) [see CONTRAINDICATIONS, ADVERSE REACTIONS, PATIENT INFORMATION].

Esophageal adverse experiences, such as esophagitis, esophageal ulcers and esophageal erosions, occasionally with bleeding and rarely followed by esophageal stricture or perforation, have been reported in patients receiving treatment with oral bisphosphonates. In some cases, these have been severe and required hospitalization. Physicians should therefore be alert to any signs or symptoms signaling a possible esophageal reaction and patients should be instructed to discontinue Atelvia and seek medical attention if they develop dysphagia, odynophagia, retrosternal pain or new or worsening heartburn.

The risk of severe esophageal adverse experiences appears to be greater in patients who lie down after taking oral bisphosphonates and/or who fail to swallow it with the recommended 4 ounces of water, and/or who continue to take oral bisphosphonates after developing symptoms suggestive of esophageal irritation. Therefore, it is very important that the full dosing instructions are provided to, and understood by, the patient [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION]. In patients who cannot comply with dosing instructions due to mental disability, therapy with Atelvia should be used under appropriate supervision.

There have been post-marketing reports of gastric and duodenal ulcers with oral bisphosphonate use, some severe and with complications, although no increased risk was observed in controlled clinical trials.

Mineral Metabolism

Hypocalcemia has been reported in patients taking Atelvia. Treat hypocalcemia and other disturbances of bone and mineral metabolism should be effectively treated before starting Atelvia therapy. Instruct patients to take supplemental calcium and vitamin D if their dietary intake is inadequate. Adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D is important in all patients [see CONTRAINDICATIONS, ADVERSE REACTIONS, PATIENT INFORMATION].

Jaw Osteonecrosis

Osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), which can occur spontaneously, is generally associated with tooth extraction and/or local infection with delayed healing, and has been reported in patients taking bisphosphonates, including risedronate. Known risk factors for osteonecrosis of the jaw include invasive dental procedures (for example, tooth extraction, dental implants, boney surgery), diagnosis of cancer, concomitant therapies (for example, chemotherapy, corticosteroids), poor oral hygiene, and co-morbid disorders (for example, periodontal and/or other pre-existing dental disease, anemia, coagulopathy, infection, ill-fitting dentures). The risk of ONJ may increase with duration of exposure to bisphosphonates.

For patients requiring invasive dental procedures, discontinuation of bisphosphonate treatment may reduce the risk for ONJ. Clinical judgment of the treating physician and/or oral surgeon should guide the management plan of each patient based on individual benefit/risk assessment.

Patients who develop ONJ while on bisphosphonate therapy should receive care by an oral surgeon. In these patients, extensive dental surgery to treat ONJ may exacerbate the condition. Discontinuation of bisphosphonate therapy should be considered based on individual benefit/risk assessment [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].

Musculoskeletal Pain

In postmarketing experience, there have been reports of severe and occasionally incapacitating bone, joint, and/or muscle pain in patients taking bisphosphonates [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. The time to onset of symptoms varied from one day to several months after starting the drug. Most patients had relief of symptoms after stopping medication. A subset had recurrence of symptoms when rechallenged with the same drug or another bisphosphonate. Consider discontinuing use if severe symptoms develop.

Atypical Subtrochanteric And Diaphyseal Femoral Fractures

Atypical, low-energy, or low trauma fractures of the femoral shaft have been reported in bisphosphonate-treated patients. These fractures can occur anywhere in the femoral shaft from just below the lesser trochanter to above the supracondylar flare and are traverse or short oblique in orientation without evidence of comminution. Causality has not been established as these fractures also occur in osteoporotic patients who have not been treated with bisphosphonates.

Atypical femur fractures most commonly occur with minimal or no trauma to the affected area. They may be bilateral and many patients report prodromal pain in the affected area, usually presenting as dull, aching thigh pain, weeks to months before a complete fracture occurs. A number of reports note that patients were also receiving treatment with glucocorticoids (for example, prednisone) at the time of fracture.

Any patient with a history of bisphosphonate exposure who presents with thigh or groin pain should be suspected of having an atypical fracture and should be evaluated to rule out an incomplete femur fracture. Patients presenting with an atypical fracture should also be assessed for symptoms and signs of fracture in the contralateral limb. Interruption of bisphosphonate therapy should be considered, pending a risk/benefit assessment, on an individual basis.

Renal Impairment

Atelvia is not recommended for use in patients with severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance less than 30 mL/min) because of lack of clinical experience.

Laboratory Test Interactions

Bisphosphonates are known to interfere with the use of bone-imaging agents. Specific studies with Atelvia have not been performed.

Patient Counseling Information

See FDA-approved patient labeling (Medication Guide)

Instruct patients to read the Medication Guide before starting therapy with Atelvia and to re-read it each time the prescription is renewed.

Instruct patients that Atelvia and Actonel contain the same active ingredient and if they are taking Actonel, they should not take Atelvia [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Instruct patients to pay particular attention to the dosing instructions as clinical benefits may be compromised by failure to take the drug according to instructions.

Instruct patients to take Atelvia in the morning, while in an upright position (sitting or standing) with at least 4 ounces of plain water immediately following breakfast. Atelvia should not be taken before breakfast.

Instruct patients to swallow Atelvia tablets whole. Patients should not chew, cut, or crush the tablet because of a potential for oropharyngeal irritation, and because the tablet coating is an important part of the delayed-release formulation. Patients should not lie down for 30 minutes after taking the medication.

Instruct patients that if they develop symptoms of esophageal disease (such as difficulty or pain upon swallowing, retrosternal pain or severe persistent or worsening heartburn) they should consult their physician before continuing Atelvia [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

If a dose of Atelvia 35 mg once-a-week is missed, instruct the patient to take one tablet on the morning after they remember and return to taking one tablet once-a-week, as originally scheduled on their chosen day. Patients should not take 2 tablets on the same day.

Instruct patients to take supplemental calcium and vitamin D if dietary intake is inadequate [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Instruct patients to take calcium supplements, antacids, magnesium-based supplements or laxatives, and iron preparations at a different time of the day because they interfere with the absorption of Atelvia.

Remind patients to give all of their healthcare providers an accurate medication history. Instruct patients to tell all of their healthcare providers that they are taking Atelvia. Patients should be instructed that any time they have a medical problem they think may be from Atelvia they should talk to their doctor.

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility


In a 104-week carcinogenicity study, rats were administered daily oral doses up to approximately 8 times the human Paget's disease dose of 30 mg/day. There were no significant drug-induced tumor findings in male or female rats. The high dose male group was terminated early in the study (Week 93) due to excessive toxicity, and data from this group were not included in the statistical evaluation of the study results. In an 80-week carcinogenicity study, mice were administered daily oral doses approximately 6.5 times the human dose. There were no significant drug-induced tumor findings in male or female mice.


Risedronate did not exhibit genetic toxicity in the following assays: In vitro bacterial mutagenesis in Salmonella and E. coli (Ames assay), mammalian cell mutagenesis in CHO/HGPRT assay, unscheduled DNA synthesis in rat hepatocytes and an assessment of chromosomal aberrations in vivo in rat bone marrow. Risedronate was positive in a chromosomal aberration assay in CHO cells at highly cytotoxic concentrations (greater than 675 mcg/mL, survival of 6% to 7%). When the assay was repeated at doses exhibiting appropriate cell survival (29%), there was no evidence of chromosomal damage.

Impairment of Fertility

In female rats, ovulation was inhibited at an oral dose approximately 5 times the human dose. Decreased implantation was noted in female rats treated with doses approximately 2.5 times the human dose. In male rats, testicular and epididymal atrophy and inflammation were noted at approximately 13 times the human dose. Testicular atrophy was also noted in male rats after 13 weeks of treatment at oral doses approximately 5 times the human dose. There was moderate-tosevere spermatid maturation block after 13 weeks in male dogs at an oral dose approximately 8 times the human dose. These findings tended to increase in severity with increased dose and exposure time.

Dosing multiples provided above are based on the recommended human Paget's disease dose of 30 mg/day and normalized using body surface area (mg/m²). Actual doses were 24 mg/kg/day in rats, 32 mg/kg/day in mice, and 8, 16 and 40 mg/kg/day in dogs.

Use In Specific Populations


Pregnancy Category C

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of Atelvia in pregnant women. Atelvia should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the mother and fetus.

Bisphosphonates are incorporated into the bone matrix, from which they are gradually released over periods of weeks to years. The amount of bisphosphonate incorporation into adult bone, and hence, the amount available for release back into the systemic circulation, is directly related to the dose and duration of bisphosphonate use. There are no data on fetal risk in humans. However, there is a theoretical risk of fetal harm, predominantly skeletal, if a woman becomes pregnant after completing a course of bisphosphonate therapy. The impact of variables such as time between cessation of bisphosphonate therapy to conception, the particular bisphosphonate used, and the route of administration (intravenous versus oral) on this risk has not been studied.

In animal studies, pregnant rats received risedronate sodium during organogenesis at doses 1 to 26 times the human Paget's disease dose of 30 mg/day. Survival of neonates was decreased in rats treated during gestation with oral doses approximately 5 times the human dose and body weight was decreased in neonates from dams treated with approximately 26 times the human dose. The number of fetuses exhibiting incomplete ossification of sternebrae or skull from dams treated with approximately 2.5 times the human dose was significantly increased compared to controls. Both incomplete ossification and unossified sternebrae were increased in rats treated with oral doses approximately 5 times the human dose. A low incidence of cleft palate was observed in fetuses from female rats treated with oral doses approximately equal to the human dose. The relevance of this finding to human use of Atelvia is unclear.

No significant fetal ossification effects were seen in rabbits treated with oral doses approximately 7 times the human dose (the highest dose tested). However, 1 of 14 litters were aborted and 1 of 14 litters were delivered prematurely.

Similar to other bisphosphonates, treatment during mating and gestation with doses of risedronate sodium approximately the same as the human Paget's disease dose of 30 mg/day resulted in periparturient hypocalcemia and mortality in pregnant rats allowed to deliver.

Dosing multiples provided above are based on the recommended human Paget's disease dose of 30 mg/day and normalized using body surface area (mg/m²). Actual animal doses were 3.2, 7.1 and 16 mg/kg/day in the rat and 10 mg/kg/day in the rabbit.

Nursing Mothers

Risedronate was detected in feeding pups exposed to lactating rats for a 24-hour period post-dosing, indicating a small degree of lacteal transfer. It is not known whether Atelvia is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from Atelvia, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Pediatric Use

Atelvia is not indicated for use in pediatric patients.

The safety and effectiveness of risedronate sodium immediate-release was assessed in a one-year, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 143 pediatric patients (94 received risedronate) with osteogenesis imperfecta (OI). The enrolled population was predominantly patients with mild OI (85% Type-I), aged 4 to less than 16 years, 50% male and 82% Caucasian, with a mean lumbar spine BMD Z-score of -2.08 (2.08 standard deviations below the mean for age-matched controls). Patients received either a 2.5 mg (less than or equal to 30 kg body weight) or 5 mg (greater than 30 kg body weight) daily oral dose. After one year, an increase in lumbar spine BMD in the risedronate sodium immediate-release group compared to the placebo group was observed. However, treatment with risedronate sodium immediate-release did not result in a reduction in the risk of fracture in pediatric patients with OI. In risedronate sodium immediate-release treated subjects, no mineralization defects were noted in paired bone biopsy specimens obtained at baseline and month 12.

The overall safety profile of risedronate in OI patients treated for up to 12 months was generally similar to that of adults with osteoporosis. However, there was an increased incidence of vomiting compared to placebo. In this study, vomiting was observed in 15% of children treated with risedronate sodium immediate-release and 6% of patients treated with placebo. Other adverse reactions reported in greater than or equal to 10% of patients treated with risedronate sodium immediate-release and with a higher frequency than placebo were: pain in the extremity (21% with risedronate sodium immediate-release versus 16% with placebo), headache (20% versus 8%), back pain (17% versus 10%), pain (15% versus 10%), upper abdominal pain (11% versus 8%), and bone pain (10% versus 4%).

Geriatric Use

Of the patients receiving Atelvia in postmenopausal osteoporosis studies, 59% were 65 and over, while 13% were 75 and over. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these patients and younger patients, and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.

Renal Impairment

Atelvia is not recommended for use in patients with severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance less than 30 mL/min) because of lack of clinical experience. No dosage adjustment is necessary in patients with a creatinine clearance greater than or equal to 30 mL/min.

Hepatic Impairment

No studies have been performed to assess risedronate sodium's safety or efficacy in patients with hepatic impairment. Risedronate is not metabolized in human liver preparations. Dosage adjustment is unlikely to be needed in patients with hepatic impairment.

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 10/31/2016


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