Atelvia is used to slow bone loss and increase bone density. Swallow this medication with a full glass (4 oz) of plain water only. Do not lie down for at least 30 minutes after taking it.

Atelvia Overview


Atelvia is a prescription medication used to treat conditions in which bones become weak and break easily such as osteoporosis.

Atelvia belongs to a group of drugs called bisphosphonates that work by preventing bone breakdown and increasing bone density. 

The medication comes in the form of a delayed-release tablet. Atelvia is taken once a week.

Do not chew, cut, or crush Atelvia tablets. Swallow Atelvia tablets whole.

Common side effects include back and joint pain, stomach area (abdominal) pain, and diarrhea. Atelvia can cause esophagus (tube connecting the throat to the stomach) problems and low calcium levels in your blood (hypocalcemia).

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Atelvia Cautionary Labels


Uses of Atelvia

Atelvia is a prescription medicine that is used to treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women (women that have gone through the "end of periods" or "change of life."

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.


Atelvia Drug Class

Atelvia is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Atelvia

Atelvia may cause serious side effects. See “Drug Precautions”.

The most common side effects of Atelvia are:

  • diarrhea
  • flu-like symptoms
  • muscle pain
  • back and joint pain
  • upset stomach
  • stomach area (abdominal) pain

Atelvia can cause allergic reactions, such as hives or, in rare cases, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that is severe, or does not go away.

This is not a complete list of Atelvia side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Atelvia Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)
  • aspirin
  • antacids
  • calcium supplements
  • hormone therapy such as estrogens and estrogen agonist/blockers
  • proton pump inhibitors such as esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec), pantoprazole (Protonix),
  • H2 blockers such as cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid), nizatidine (Axid), ranitidine (Zantac)
  • cancer chemotherapy treatments
  • steroids such as dexamethasone (Decadron), methylprednisolone (Medrol) and prednisone (Deltasone)

The following medicines can lower the amount of Atelvia that your body absorbs:

  • antacids
  • calcium supplements
  • aluminum supplements
  • magnesium supplements
  • aspirin
  • iron supplements

If you must take these medicines, wait at least 30 minutes after taking Atelvia.

Atelvia Precautions

1. Atelvia can cause esophagus (tube connecting the throat to the stomach) problems. It is important that you take Atelvia exactly as prescribed to help lower your chance of getting esophagus problems including:

  • irritation
  • inflammation
  • ulcers of the esophagus which may sometimes bleed

Stop taking Atelvia and call your doctor right away if you have painful or difficult swallowing, chest pain,  or new or worsening heartburn.

2. Atelvia can cause low calcium levels in your blood (hypocalcemia), which can worsen already low blood calcium conditions. If you have low blood calcium before taking Atelvia it must be treated before you take Atelvia. You may not know you have low blood calcium, but some people may have the following symptoms:

  • Spasms, twitches, or cramps in your muscles
  • Numbness or tingling in your fingers, toes, or around your mouth

Your doctor may prescribe calcium and vitamin D to help prevent low calcium levels in your blood, while you take Atelvia. Take calcium and vitamin D as your doctor tells you to.

3. Severe jaw bone problems may happen when you take Atelvia. Your doctor and dentist may examine your mouth before you start Atelvia. 

4. Some people who take Atelvia develop severe bone, joint, or muscle pain.

5. Some people have developed unusual fractures in their thigh bone. Symptoms of a fracture may include new or unusual pain in your hip, groin, or thigh.

Call your doctor right away if you have any of these side effects.

Do not take Atelvia if you:

  • have certain problems with your esophagus, the tube that connects your mouth with your stomach
  • cannot stand or sit upright for at least 30 minutes
  • have low levels of calcium in your blood
  • are allergic to Atelvia any of its ingredients

Atelvia Food Interactions

Some vitamin supplements and medicines can stop your body from absorbing Atelvia. Therefore, do not take anything other than plain water at or near the time you take Atelvia and for 30 minutes after.

Inform MD

Before you receive Atelvia, tell you doctor about all the medical conditions you have including if you have:

  • swallowing problems
  • stomach or digestive problems
  • low blood calcium
  • plans to have dental surgery or teeth removed
  • kidney problems
  • trouble absorbing minerals in your stomach or intestines (malabsorption syndrome)

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements.

Atelvia and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Atelvia falls into category C. In animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication and had some babies born with problems. No well-controlled studies have been done in humans. Therefore, this medication may be used if the potential benefits to the mother outweigh the potential risks to the unborn child.

Atelvia and Lactation

Tell your doctor before using Atelvia if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Atelvia is excreted in human breast milk or if it can harm your baby. You and your doctor should decide if you will take Atelvia or breastfeed. You should not do both.

Atelvia Usage

The following instructions apply to all patients taking Atelvia:

  • Take Atelvia exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
  • Take Atelvia in the morning immediately following breakfast. Atelvia should be taken immediately following breakfast and not under fasting conditions because of a higher risk of abdominal pain if taken before breakfast when fasting.
  • Swallow Atelvia whole while in an upright position and with at least 4 ounces of plain water to facilitate delivery to the stomach.
  • Avoid lying down for 30 minutes after taking the medication.
  • Do not chew, cut, or crush Atelvia tablets. Swallow Atelvia tablets whole.
  • If you cannot swallow Atelvia tablets whole, tell your doctor. You may need a different medicine.
After swallowing Atelvia wait at least 30 minutes:
  • Before you lie down. You may sit, stand or walk, and do normal activities like reading.
  • Before you take other medicines, including antacids, calcium, and other supplements and vitamins.
If you miss your weekly Atelvia dose, take Atelvia the morning after you remember then return to your normal schedule. Do not take 2 doses at the same time.

If you take too much Atelvia, call your doctor. Do not try to vomit. Do not lie down.

Atelvia Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The recommended dose of Atelvia for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis is 35 mg once a week.

Atelvia Overdose

If you take too much Atelvia (overdose), call your doctor. Do not try to vomit. Do not lie down.

Other Requirements

  • Store Atelvia at room temperature, 68° F to 77° F (20° C to 25° C).
  • Safely throw away medicine that is out of date or no longer needed.
  • Keep Atelvia and all medicines out of the reach of children.