What is this medication?
PAMIDRONATE (pa mi DROE nate) treats high calcium levels in the blood caused by cancer. It may also be used with chemotherapy to treat weakened bones caused by cancer. It can also be used to treat Paget's disease of the bone. It works by slowing down the release of calcium from bones. This lowers calcium levels in your blood. It also makes your bones stronger and less likely to break (fracture). It belongs to a group of medications called bisphosphonates.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Aredia
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- Bleeding disorder
- Dental disease
- Kidney disease
- Low levels of calcium or other minerals in the blood
- Low red blood cell counts
- Receiving steroids, such as dexamethasone or prednisone
- An unusual or allergic reaction to pamidronate, other medications, foods, dyes or preservatives
- Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
This medication is injected into a vein. It is given by your care team in a hospital or clinic setting.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
Keep appointments for follow-up doses. It is important not to miss your dose. Call your care team if you are unable to keep an appointment.
What may interact with this medication?
- Certain antibiotics given by injection
- Medications for inflammation or pain, such as ibuprofen, naproxen
- Some diuretics, such as bumetanide, furosemide
- Parathyroid hormone
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. It may be some time before you see the benefit from this medication.
Some people who take this medication have severe bone, joint, or muscle pain. This medication may also increase your risk for jaw problems or a broken thigh bone. Tell your care team right away if you have severe pain in your jaw, bones, joints, or muscles. Tell your care team if you have any pain that does not go away or that gets worse.
Tell your dentist and dental surgeon that you are taking this medication. You should not have major dental surgery while on this medication. See your dentist to have a dental exam and fix any dental problems before starting this medication. Take good care of your teeth while on this medication. Make sure you see your dentist for regular follow-up appointments.
You should make sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D while you are taking this medication. Discuss the foods you eat and the vitamins you take with your care team.
You may need bloodwork while you are taking this medication.
Talk to your care team if you wish to become pregnant or think you might be pregnant. This medication can cause serious birth defects.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
- Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Kidney injury—decrease in the amount of urine, swelling of the ankles, hands, or feet
- Low calcium level—muscle pain or cramps, confusion, tingling, or numbness in the hands or feet
- Osteonecrosis of the jaw—pain, swelling, or redness in the mouth, numbness of the jaw, poor healing after dental work, unusual discharge from the mouth, visible bones in the mouth
- Severe bone, joint, or muscle pain
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
- Loss of appetite
- Pain, redness, or irritation at injection site
- Stomach pain
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medication?
This medication is given in a hospital or clinic. It will not be stored at home.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
Additional Information From Chemocare.com About Pamidronate
- It is important that you stay well hydrated during treatment to protect your kidneys. Drink two to three quarts of fluid every 24 hours, unless you are instructed otherwise.
- Acetaminophen may help relieve discomfort from fever, headache and/or generalized aches and pains. However, be sure to talk with your doctor before taking it.
- This medication causes little nausea. But if you should experience nausea, take anti-nausea medications as prescribed by your doctor, and eat small frequent meals. Sucking on lozenges and chewing gum may also help.
- You may experience drowsiness or dizziness; avoid driving or engaging in tasks that require alertness until your response to the drug is known.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Maintain good nutrition.
- If you experience symptoms or side effects, be sure to discuss them with your health care team. They can prescribe medications and/or offer other suggestions that are effective in managing such problems.
When to contact your doctor or health care provider:
Seek emergency help immediately and notify your health care provider, it you experience the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath, wheezing, difficulty breathing, closing up of the throat, swelling of facial features, hives (possible allergic reaction).
Contact your health care provider immediately, day or night, if you should experience any of the following symptoms:
- Unusual muscle twitching or spasms (symptom of hypercalcemia)
- Confusion (symptom of hypercalcemia)
- Fever of 100.4° F (38° C), chills, sore throat (possible signs of infection)
- Shortness of breath, chest pain or discomfort
The following symptoms require medical attention, but are not an emergency. Contact your health care provider within 24 hours of noticing any of the following:
- Vomiting (more than 4-5 episodes within a 24 hour period)
- Nausea that interferes with eating and is not relieved by mediations prescribed by your doctor.
- Constipation unrelieved by laxative use
- Loss of appetite
- Fatigue and extreme tiredness (unable to perform self-care activities)
- Feelings of confusion
- Unable to eat or drink for 24 hours or have signs of dehydration: tiredness, thirst, dry mouth, dark and decrease amount of urine, or dizziness.
Always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.