Actonel Combi is used in the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women who also need daily calcium supplementation as assessed by their doctor.

Why have I been prescribed Actonel Combi?

Actonel Combi is used in the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women who also need daily calcium supplementation as assessed by their doctor.

How does it work?

Actonel Combi is a combination medicine packed as weekly units each containing 1 tablet of Actonel (light-orange tablet) and 6 tablets of calcium (blue tablets).

Actonel tablets
Actonel tablets contain risedronate sodium which belongs to a group of non-hormonal medicines called bisphosphonates. These medicines are used to treat bone diseases. It works directly on your bones to make them stronger and therefore less likely to break.

Calcium tablets
The tablets contain calcium carbonate which provides the calcium that your body may need to harden new bone.

When and how do I take it?

Actonel tablets (light-orange tablets):

It is very important that you do NOT take your Actonel tablet with food or drinks (other than plain water) so that it can work properly. In particular do not take this medicine at the same time as dairy products (such as milk). Take food and drinks (other than plain water) at least 30 minutes AFTER your Actonel tablet.

  • Take the tablet whilst you are in an upright position (you may sit or stand) to avoid heartburn.
  • Swallow it with at least one glass (120 ml) of plain water.
  • Swallow it whole. Do not suck or chew it.
  • Do not lie down for 30 minutes after taking your tablet.

Calcium tablets (blue tablets):

Do NOT take your calcium tablet at the same time as foods containing high amounts of oxalic acid (spinach and rhubarb) or phytic acid (whole cereals). Take your calcium tablet at least 2 hours after eating such foods.

Take one calcium tablet each day for the next 6 days.

  • Swallow it whole.
  • It is recommended to take the calcium tablet with a meal.

Actonel Combi is a weekly therapy presented in a blister pack containing 1 Actonel once a week 35 mg tablet and 6 calcium 500 mg tablets. Every weekly blister pack has dosing instructions on the back.

What’s the dose?

Always take Actonel Combi exactly as your doctor has told you. You should check with your doctor if you are not sure.
Usual dose: Weekly cycle:

  • Day 1: Actonel tablet (light-orange tablet)

Take ONE Actonel tablet once a week.
Choose one day of the week that best fits your schedule. This will be your Day 1 of the weekly cycle. Every week, take the Actonel tablet on your chosen Day 1.

  • Days 2 to 7: Calcium tablets (blue tablets)

Beginning on the day after the Actonel tablet has been taken, take ONE tablet of calcium each day for the next 6 days. Every 7 days start a new weekly blister pack. You should begin a new blister pack by taking the Actonel tablet on your chosen Day 1.

Could it interact with other tablets?

Actonel tablets (light-orange tablets):
Medicines containing one of the following lessen the effect of the Actonel tablet if taken at the same time:

  • calcium
  • magnesium
  • aluminium (for example some indigestion mixtures)
  • iron.

Take these medicines at least 30 minutes after your Actonel tablet.

Calcium tablets (blue tablets):
Medicines containing calcium are known to interfere with the following:

  • digitalis (used to treat heart disorders)
  • tetracycline antibiotics
  • steroids (such as cortisone)
  • sodium fluoride (used to strengthen the tooth enamel)
  • thiazide diuretics (used to remove water from the body by increasing urine production).

If you are taking any of the above-mentioned medicines, your doctor will give you further instructions. Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any other medicines, including medicines obtained without a prescription.

Herbal products should also only be taken after talking with your doctor.

What are the possible risks or side-effects?

Like all medicines, Actonel Combi can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
Actonel tablets (light-orange tablets):

Stop taking Actonel and contact a doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:

• Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction such as:

  • Swelling of the face, tongue or throat
  • Difficulties in swallowing
  • Hives and difficulties in breathing.

• Severe skin reactions that can include blistering of the skin.

Tell your doctor promptly if you experience the following side effects:

  • Eye inflammation, usually with pain, redness and light sensitivity.
  • Bone necrosis of the jaw (osteonecrosis) associated with delayed healing and infection, often following tooth extraction (see section 2, “Take special care and talk to your doctor before you start taking Actonel”).
  • Symptoms from oesophagus such as pain when you swallow, difficulties in swallowing, chest pain or new or worsened heartburn. However in clinical studies the other side effects that were observed were usually mild and did not cause the patient to stop taking their tablets.

Common side effects (affects 1 to 10 users in 100)

  • Indigestion, feeling sick, stomach ache, stomach cramps or discomfort, constipation, feelings of fullness, bloating, diarrhoea.
  • Pain in your bones, muscles or joints.
  • Headache.

Can I drink alcohol while taking it?

There are no known interactions between alcohol and Actonel.
Always ask you doctor or pharmacist however as other medications you are taking may have a bearing on this.

What if I’m pregnant/breastfeeding?

Do NOT take Actonel Combi if you may be pregnant, are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
Do NOT take Actonel Combi if you are breast-feeding.

If you have any more questions please ask your Pharmacist.

Remember to keep all medicines out of reach of children
Please Note: We have made every effort to ensure that the content of this information sheet is correct at time of publish, but remember that information about drugs may change. This sheet does not list all the uses and side-effects associated with this drug. For full details please see the drug information leaflet which comes with your medicine. Your doctor will assess your medical circumstances and draw your attention to any information or side-effects which may be relevant in your particular case.