Bisphosphonate medication used in the treatment of osteoporosis is safe and effective in most patients, according to Mayo Clinic. To avoid side effects, patients are advised to take the medication with a large glass of water on an empty stomach, while staying upright for at least thirty minutes.
Bisphosphonates -such as alendronate and risedronate- are the most commonly prescribed medications used in the treatment of osteoporosis. The main side effects are heartburn and stomach upset. Bisphosphonates work by slowing the rate of bone breakdown to increase bone density and reduce the risk of fractures; women are more likely to experience this breakdown after menopause, explains Mayo Clinic.