April 27, 2017
Recommended Topic Related To:


"March 7, 2013 -- An FDA panel voted to stop recommending calcitonin salmon for the treatment of osteoporosis in women who are at least five years past menopause.

The committee voted 12-9 against continued marketing of the drug, citing"...





Included as part of the "PRECAUTIONS" Section


Upper Gastrointestinal Adverse Reactions

BINOSTO, 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 BINOSTO is given to patients with active upper gastrointestinal problems (such as known Barrett's esophagus, dysphagia, other esophageal diseases, gastritis, duodenitis, or ulcers).

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 including alendronate sodium. 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 BINOSTO 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 including alendronate sodium, and/or who continue to take oral bisphosphonates including alendronate sodium 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 BINOSTO 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 [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].

Mineral Metabolism

Hypocalcemia must be corrected before initiating therapy with BINOSTO [see CONTRAINDICATIONS]. Other disorders affecting mineral metabolism (such as vitamin D deficiency) should also be effectively treated. In patients with these conditions, serum calcium and symptoms of hypocalcemia should be monitored during therapy with BINOSTO.

Presumably due to the effects of BINOSTO on increasing bone mineral, small, asymptomatic decreases in serum calcium and phosphate may occur. Patients should receive adequate calcium and vitamin D intake.

Musculoskeletal Pain

In post-marketing experience, severe and occasionally incapacitating bone, joint, and/or muscle pain has been reported in patients taking bisphosphonates that are approved for the treatment of osteoporosis [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. This category of drugs includes BINOSTO. Most of the patients were postmenopausal women. The time to onset of symptoms varied from one day to several months after starting the drug. Discontinue use if severe symptoms develop. Most patients had relief of symptoms after stopping. A subset had recurrence of symptoms when rechallenged with the same drug or another bisphosphonate.

In placebo-controlled clinical studies of alendronate sodium, the percentages of patients with these symptoms were similar in the alendronate sodium and placebo groups.

Osteonecrosis Of The Jaw

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 alendronate sodium. Known risk factors for osteonecrosis of the jaw include invasive dental procedures (e.g., tooth extraction, dental implants, boney surgery), diagnosis of cancer, concomitant therapies (e.g., chemotherapy, corticosteroids, angiogenesis inhibitors), poor oral hygiene, and co-morbid disorders (e.g., 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 osteonecrosis of the jaw 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.

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 transverse 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 (e.g., 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

BINOSTO is not recommended for patients with creatinine clearance <35 mL/min.

Patients Sensitive To High Sodium Intake

Each BINOSTO effervescent tablet contains 650 mg of sodium, equivalent to approximately 1650 mg of salt (NaCl). Use caution in patients who must restrict their sodium intake, including some patients with a history of heart failure, hypertension, or other cardiovascular diseases [see Patient Counseling Information].

Patient Counseling Information

See FDA-approved patient labeling (PATIENT INFORMATION).

Instruct patients to read the Medication Guide before starting therapy with BINOSTO and to reread it each time the prescription is renewed.

Osteoporosis Recommendations, Including Calcium And Vitamin D Supplementation

Instruct patients to take supplemental calcium and vitamin D, if daily dietary intake is inadequate. Weightbearing exercise should be considered along with the modification of certain behavioral factors, such as cigarette smoking and/or excessive alcohol consumption, if these factors exist.

Dosing Instructions

Instruct patients that it is necessary to follow all dosing instructions for BINOSTO:

  • BINOSTO should only be taken upon arising for the day and must be taken at least 30 minutes before the first food, beverage, or medication of the day.
  • Instruct patients not attempt to swallow, chew, or suck on the tablet because of a potential for oropharyngeal ulceration.
  • Instruct patients to dissolve the effervescent tablet in 4 ounces room temperature plain water only (not mineral water or flavored water).
  • Instruct patients to wait at least 5 minutes after the effervescence stops and then stir the solution for approximately 10 seconds and then consume the contents.
  • Instruct patients to avoid lying down for at least 30 minutes after taking BINOSTO and until after their first food of the day.
  • Instruct patients not to take BINOSTO at bedtime or before arising for the day.
  • Instruct patients that waiting less than 30 minutes, or taking BINOSTO with food, beverages (other than plain water) or other medications will lessen the effect of BINOSTO by decreasing its absorption into the body [see DRUG INTERACTIONS]. Even dosing with orange juice or coffee has been shown to markedly reduce the absorption of BINOSTO [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
  • Inform patients that failure to follow these instructions may increase their risk of esophageal problems [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Instruct patients that if they develop symptoms of esophageal disease (such as difficulty or pain upon swallowing, retrosternal pain or new or worsening heartburn) they should stop taking BINOSTO and consult their physician [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Instruct patients that if they miss a dose of once weekly BINOSTO, they should take one dose on the morning after they remember. They should not take 2 doses on the same day but should return to taking one dose once a week, as originally scheduled on their chosen day.

Patients On Sodium Restriction

Inform patients who are prescribed sodium restricted diets that BINOSTO contains 650 mg of sodium which is equivalent to approximately 1650 mg NaCl per tablet.

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility

Harderian gland (a retro-orbital gland not present in humans) adenomas were increased in high-dose female mice (p=0.003) in a 92-week oral carcinogenicity study at doses of alendronate of 1, 3, and 10 mg/kg/day (males) or 1, 2, and 5 mg/kg/day (females). These doses are equivalent to 0.12 to 1.2 times a maximum recommended daily dose of 40 mg, based on surface area, mg/m2 . The relevance of this finding to humans is unknown.

Parafollicular cell (thyroid) adenomas were increased in high-dose male rats (p=0.003) in a 2-year oral carcinogenicity study at doses of 1 and 3.75 mg/kg body weight. These doses are equivalent to 0.26 and 1 times a 40 mg human daily dose based on surface area, mg/m2 . The relevance of this finding to humans is unknown.

Alendronate sodium was not genotoxic in the in vitro microbial mutagenesis assay with and without metabolic activation, in an in vitro mammalian cell mutagenesis assay, in an in vitro alkaline elution assay in rat hepatocytes, and in an in vivo chromosomal aberration assay in mice. In an in vitro chromosomal aberration assay in Chinese hamster ovary cells, however, alendronate gave equivocal results.

Alendronate sodium had no effect on fertility (male or female) in rats at oral doses up to 5 mg/kg/day (1.3 times a 40 mg human daily dose based on surface area, mg/m2 ).

Use In Specific Populations


Pregnancy Category C

There are no studies in pregnant women. BINOSTO 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 a period of years. The amount of bisphosphonate incorporated 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 the risk has not been studied.

Reproduction studies in rats showed decreased postimplantation survival and decreased body weight gain in normal pups at doses less than half of the recommended clinical dose. Sites of incomplete fetal ossification were statistically significantly increased in rats beginning at approximately 3 times the clinical dose in vertebral (cervical, thoracic, and lumbar), skull, and sternebral bones. No similar fetal effects were seen when pregnant rabbits were treated with doses approximately 10 times the clinical dose.

Both total and ionized calcium decreased in pregnant rats at approximately 4 times the clinical dose resulting in delays and failures of delivery. Protracted parturition due to maternal hypocalcemia occurred in rats at doses as low as one tenth the clinical dose when rats were treated from before mating through gestation. Maternotoxicity (late pregnancy deaths) also occurred in the female rats treated at approximately 4 times the clinical dose for varying periods of time ranging from treatment only during pre-mating to treatment only during early, middle, or late gestation; these deaths were lessened but not eliminated by cessation of treatment. Calcium supplementation either in the drinking water or by minipump could not ameliorate the hypocalcemia or prevent maternal and neonatal deaths due to delays in delivery; intravenous calcium supplementation prevented maternal, but not fetal deaths.

Exposure multiples based on surface area, mg/m2 , were calculated using a 40-2 mg human daily dose. Animal dose ranged between 1 and 15 mg/kg/day in rats and up to 40 mg/kg/day in rabbits.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether alendronate is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when BINOSTO is administered to nursing women.

Pediatric Use

BINOSTO is not indicated for use in pediatric patients.

The safety and efficacy of alendronate sodium were examined in a randomized, double-blind, placebocontrolled two-year study of 139 pediatric patients, aged 4-18 years, with severe osteogenesis imperfecta (OI). One-hundred-and-nine patients were randomized to 5 mg alendronate sodium daily (weight less than 40 kg) or 10 mg alendronate sodium daily (weight greater than or equal to 40 kg) and 30 patients to placebo. The mean baseline lumbar spine BMD Z-score of the patients was -4.5. The mean change in lumbar spine BMD Z-score from baseline to Month 24 was 1.3 in the alendronate-treated patients and 0.1 in the placebo-treated patients. Treatment with alendronate sodium did not reduce the risk of fracture. Sixteen percent of the alendronate-treated patients who sustained a radiologicallyconfirmed fracture by Month 12 of the study had delayed fracture healing (callus remodeling) or fracture non-union when assessed radiographically at Month 24 compared with 9% of the placebotreated patients. In alendronate-treated patients, bone histomorphometry data obtained at Month 24 demonstrated decreased bone turnover and delayed mineralization time; however, there were no mineralization defects. There were no statistically significant differences between the alendronate sodium and placebo groups in reduction of bone pain. The oral bioavailability in children was similar to that observed in adults.

The overall safety profile of alendronate sodium in osteogenesis imperfecta patients treated for up to 24 months was generally similar to that of adults with osteoporosis treated with alendronate sodium. However, there was an increased occurrence of vomiting in osteogenesis imperfecta patients treated with alendronate sodium compared to placebo. During the 24-month treatment period, vomiting was observed in 32 of 109 (29.4%) patients treated with alendronate sodium and 3 of 30 (10%) patients treated with placebo.

In a pharmacokinetic study, 6 of 24 pediatric osteogenesis imperfecta patients who received a single oral dose of alendronate sodium 35 or 70 mg developed fever, flu-like symptoms, and/or mild lymphocytopenia within 24 to 48 hours after administration. These events, lasting no more than 2 to 3 days and responding to acetaminophen, are consistent with an acute-phase response that has been reported in patients receiving bisphosphonates, including alendronate sodium. [See ADVERSE REACTIONS]

Geriatric Use

Of the patients receiving alendronate sodium in the Fracture Intervention Trial (FIT), 71% (n=2302) were greater than or equal to 65 years of age and 17% (n=550) were greater than or equal to 75 years of age. Of the patients receiving alendronate sodium in the United States and Multinational osteoporosis treatment studies in women and osteoporosis studies in men, [see Clinical Studies], 45% and 54%, respectively, were 65 years of age or over. No overall differences in efficacy or safety were observed between these patients and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.

Renal Impairment

BINOSTO is not recommended for patients with creatinine clearance less than 35 mL/min. No dosage adjustment is necessary in patients with creatinine clearance values between 35-60 mL/min [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Hepatic Impairment

As there is evidence that alendronate is not metabolized or excreted in the bile, no studies were conducted in patients with hepatic impairment. No dosage adjustment is necessary [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

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

Last reviewed on RxList: 12/5/2016


Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Healthy Bones

Get tips and advances in treatment.