Thursday, October 30, 2014
Don't let RA limit your routineLearn more now about a treatment that may help
Sunday, February 15, 2009 Barbara Pandolfo, Community Member, asks

Q: I have recently switched from Actonel to generic Fosomax because of cost. what will be the effect, i

I had been taking Actonel for 6+ years, I have gone from osteoporisis to osteopenia. Medicare no longer covers Actonel and the cost is $75.00

Answer This
Answers (3)
Pam Flores, Health Guide
2/15/09 7:45pm

Hi Barbara:  These insurances changes are always tough, and I wondered what would happen with MC when fosamax became available in generic, and you've answered that question.


Have you tried to get your insurance co to accept actonel through an appeal for coverage?  All insurance co's have this process available to their members, so if you wanted to stay on actonel, you could try this.  I know quite a few people who have had success with this.  You can look at your insurance booklet and try for a "tier change" (changes the copay price on a drug).  Usually you just have to explain your reasoning for wanting to stay on actonel, and have your Dr fill out the form.  Normally there has to be a medical reason for this, like being allergic to one of the in-active ingredients in fosamax or something else along those lines.


There should be little to no difference between brand name fosamax and the generic.  Here's a link from our expert Dr. Gonter on this topic.


As far as there being a difference between actonel and fosamax, you'd have to read the clinical trial that was done on the two drugs called the FACT (Fosamax Actonel Comparison Trial).  Here's a link to a summary on that trial.  Fosamax and actonel, even though in the same class of drugs, *may* have slightly different benefits to some individuals, but you would need to know your medical history to see how you might be affected by it, if at all.


Since you've been on actonel for over 6 years, hopefully you've built up a good amount of bmd, so maybe that will help protect you since the drug stays in your system for quite some time.  It sounds like your scores have greatly improved so hopefully fosamax will maintain that and also slow your resorption as well.


Good luck.  I hope the change has great results!!



tamera, Community Member
1/10/11 8:40am

I used to sell Actonel.   From the studies we read on Fosomax, not all generics are equal.  The reason Fosomax caused so much trouble in the early stages, was that it was not coated and it would dissolve too early resulting in gerd problems.   If anyone has a way to determine if the generic is coated or not, I believe they are pretty comparable.  Actonel has the "cleanest" side affects record from what I read.


I currently take Actonel and swear by it and have had the results, going form Osteoporosis to Osteopenia, but it is getting expensive and the generic prices are getting more and more tempting.  

sandy s, Community Member
2/ 2/11 7:42pm

Ihave been on actonel for about 6 years and it is working for me i had osteopenia for a few years which makeds me think the actonel was doing its job,due to insurance i have to switch to

the generic of fosomax.  Can you tell me how long I have to wait to take

a bone scan  to compare with my bone scan with actonel.  comparing

both medicines  do you know can I expect the same results with actonel

thank you for your advice

Dewey, Community Member
3/15/12 12:30am

I took Actonel first and then went to Boniva as it was once a month only.  The price was very high and my insurance company suggested the generic.  I have taken the generic over a year now and my bone density test just indicated further bone loss.  I am going back to Actonel but I will buy Canadian.  Less expensive.

Answer This

We hope you find this general health information helpful. Please note however, that this Q&A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. No information in the Answers above is intended to diagnose or treat any condition. The views expressed in the Answers above belong to the individuals who posted them and do not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media. Remedy Health Media does not review or edit content posted by our community members, but reserves the right to remove any material it deems inappropriate.

By Barbara Pandolfo, Community Member— Last Modified: 11/15/13, First Published: 02/15/09