Boniva (ibandronate)

Search by Drug or Product Name

Brand Name

Boniva {Genentech}

Generic Name

ibandronate, pronounced eye BAN dro nate


What is Boniva?

Boniva is used to treat women with osteoporosis who are post-menopausal.

Boniva may also be used for purposes not indicated in this medication guide.


Key Facts About Boniva

Boniva is in a group of medications called bisphosphonates, and it works by altering the cycle of both your bone formation and the breakdown of bone in your body. Boniva also slows bone loss while increasing your bone mass, which can help you to avoid future bone fractures.

You should not take Boniva if you cannot sit upright or stand for at least 60 minutes after taking your dose. If you cannot sit upright or stand for 60 minutes after taking the Boniva tablet you may experience serious problems in your stomach or esophagus.

You must take Boniva as soon as you awake in the morning, approximately 60 minutes, or 1 full hour, before you eat or drink anything, including other medications.

Some patients who have used medications similar to Boniva have reported bone loss in their jaw, which is also called osteonecrosis of the jaw. The symptoms of this condition can include jaw pain, swelling, numbness, loose teeth, gum infections or a slow healing after injury or surgery involving your gums. You may be more likely to develop osteonecrosis of the jaw if you have cancer, have been treated with chemotherapy, radiation or steroids, have a blood clotting disorder, anemia or a pre-existing dental problem.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Boniva is in FDA pregnancy category C and its effects on an unborn baby are not known. If you are breast-feeding you should ask your doctor about taking Boniva. We do not know if Boniva may affect a breast-feeding baby.


Before You Take Boniva

If you are allergic to ibandronate, or if you have low levels of calcium in your blood (hypocalcemia) or a problem with the movement of muscles in your esophagus you should not take Boniva.

If you have trouble swallowing or a vitamin D deficiency you may not be a candidate to take Boniva.

Before taking Boniva, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, an ulcer or another problem in your stomach or esophagus.

Do not take Boniva if you cannot sit upright or stand for at least 60 minutes after taking your dose.

You should avoid taking any other medications including vitamins, calcium, or antacids for at least 60 minutes after you take a Boniva tablet.


Boniva Drug Interactions

You should inform your doctor if you are taking any of the following:

  • celecoxib (Celebrex)
  • diclofenac (Arthrotec, Cambia, Cataflam, Voltaren, Flector Patch, Pennsaid, Solareze)
  • diflunisal (Dolobid)
  • ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
  • indomethacin (Indocin)
  • ketoprofen (Orudis)
  • ketorolac (Toradol)
  • meloxicam (Mobic)
  • naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Naprelan, Treximet)
  • piroxicam (Feldene)

Other drugs you take that are not listed may interact with Boniva. You should tell your doctor about all of the medications you use. This includes prescription drugs, vitamins, supplements and herbal products, and over the counter medications. You should not begin taking a new medication without telling your doctor first.


Directions for Taking Boniva

You should take Boniva exactly as it is prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor may change your dose to make sure that you get the best results from Boniva. You should follow the instructions on your prescription label and not take Boniva for longer than recommended by your doctor, or in larger or smaller doses.

Take the Boniva tablet in the morning, at least 60 minutes before you eat or drink anything or take any other medications. If you take a Boniva tablet once a week you should take it on the same day each week and first thing in the morning, also 60 minutes before you eat or drink anything.

You should take each tablet of Boniva with a full 8 ounce glass of water. Do not use mineral water to take Boniva.

Swallow Boniva whole, being certain not to break, chew, crush or suck on the tablet.

You should not lie down or recline for at least 60 minutes after taking Boniva.

You should not take any other medication, vitamins, calcium or antacids for at least 60 minutes after taking Boniva.

You will need to visit your doctor to have your bone mineral density tested on a regular basis while taking Boniva.

Tell any dentist that treats you that you are taking Boniva, as you may need to stop taking this medication for a short time if you need extensive dental work or dental surgery.

Boniva is a part of a complete program of treatment that your doctor has prescribed to keep you healthy. Other aspects of this program may include dietary changes, exercise and taking calcium and vitamin supplements. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines exactly as your doctor has instructed you to.

Boniva needs to be stored at room temperature, and away from light, moisture and heat.

If you take Boniva tablets once daily and forget to take your dose first thing in the morning you should not take it later in the day. You must wait until the following morning to take the dose, and skip the dose you missed. Do not take two (2) tablets in one day.

If you take Boniva tablets once a month and miss a dose you should take your dose in the morning on the day after you remember the missed dose. Then you should return to your regular monthly schedule on your chosen dose day. If your next scheduled dose is less than 7 days away, however, you should wait until then to take this medication and skip the missed dose. Do not take two (2) tablets in one month.

If you receive Boniva injections every 3 months and miss an appointment you should contact your doctor for further instructions.


Boniva Side Effects

If you experience any of the following adverse effects you should stop taking Boniva and seek emergency medical help immediately:

  • allergic reaction symptoms like breathing difficulties, hives, and swelling of your face, lips, throat or tongue
  • burning or pain in your back or under your ribs
  • chest pain
  • coughing up blood
  • difficulty or pain when swallowing
  • fever, body aches and flu symptoms
  • heartburn that is severe, new or worsening or burning pain in your upper stomach
  • jaw pain, swelling or numbness
  • new or unusual pain in your hip or thigh
  • severe joint, bone or muscle pain

Less serious side effects of Boniva may include:

  • arm and leg pain
  • back pain
  • diarrhea
  • eye redness or swelling
  • flu-like symptoms
  • headache
  • joint pain and swelling at injection site
  • nausea
  • stomach upset

It should be noted that this is not a complete list of possible side effects of Boniva. You should contact your physician for a complete list and medical advice regarding these effects.


Boniva Description and Dosing

Boniva is available as either a 150 mg tablet taken once monthly on the same date each month, or as a 2.5 mg tablet taken once daily. The 150 mg tablet is film-coated, white and oblong. The 150 mg tablets are engraved with “BNVA” on one side and “150” on the other side. The 2.5 mg tablets are also film-coated, white and oblong, and engraved with “IT” on one side and “L3” on the other side.

If you suspect that you have overdosed with Boniva you should seek emergency help immediately.


Ingredients in Boniva

The primary active ingredient in Boniva is ibandronate sodium. Inactive ingredients include lactose monohydrate, povidone, microcrystalline cellulose, crospovidone, purified stearic acid, colloidal silicon dioxide, and purified water. The tablet film coating contains hypromellose, titanium dioxide, talc, polyethylene glycol 6000, and purified water.

Back to Top


The information contained in this drug guide is intended as an educational resource only. This guide is not exhaustive and does not contain all available information about this drug.This guide is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment.

The information provided in this guide does not replace the need for the advice and services of medical professionals or the need for medical examination. Always talk to your physician or pharmacist before taking any prescription medication or over the counter drugs (including any supplements) or before making any changes to your treatment. Only your doctor, nurse or pharmacist can provide you with safe and effective advice regarding your drug treatment.

The use of the information in this guide is at your sole risk. This information is provided "AS IS" with no warranties to accuracy or timeliness.

**All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.