Pamidronate disodium (Aredia®)

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About This Drug

Pamidronate disodium is used to treat high levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia), which affects patients with certain types of cancer, and/or bone lesions associated with the spread of cancer (bone metastases). It is given in the vein (IV). 

Possible Side Effects

  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Decreased appetite (decreased hunger)
  • Bone pain
  • Muscle pain/ache
  • Changes in electrolytes

Note: Not all possible side effects are included above.

Warnings and Precautions

  • Changes in kidney function
  • Osteonecrosis of the jaw. This is a breakdown of the jawbone. It is a bad but rare health problem. Possible symptoms are:
    • Pain, swelling, or infection of the gums
    • Loose teeth
    • Poor healing of the gums
    • Numbness or the feeling that your jaw is heavy
  • Severe Joint, bone and muscle pain
  • Risk of femur fracture
  • Severe low calcium, which can very rarely be fatal. You may experience numbness or tingling around your mouth or in your hands or feet. Other symptoms of low calcium are muscle stiffness, twitching, spasms, or cramps.
  • Changes in electrolytes

Note: Some of the side effects above are very rare. If you have concerns and/or questions, please discuss them with your medical team.

Treating Side Effects

  • Manage tiredness by pacing your activities for the day.
  • Be sure to include periods of rest between energy-draining activities.
  • To help with decreased appetite, eat small, frequent meals.
  • Eat high caloric food such as pudding, ice cream, yogurt and milkshakes.
  • Keeping your pain under control is important to your well-being. Please tell your doctor or nurse if you are experiencing pain.
  • Tell your cancer doctor if you have any problems with your teeth or jaw before you start this drug. It is important that your dentist knows that you are on pamidronate disodium.

Food and Drug Interactions

  • There are no known interactions of pamidronate disodium with food.
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist about all other prescription medicines and over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs interactions with pamidronate. Also, check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new prescription or over-the-counter medicines, or dietary supplements to make sure that there are no interactions.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse if you have any of these symptoms and/or any new or unusual symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.5 F (38 C) or above
  • Chills
  • Fatigue that interferes with your daily activities
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Lasting loss of appetite or rapid weight loss of five pounds in a week
  • Decreased urine, or very dark urine
  • Pain that does not go away, or is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • New pain in your hip, groin or thigh
  • Signs of osteonecrosis of the jaw such as pain, swelling or infection of the gums, loose teeth, poor healing of the gums, numbness or the feeling that your jaw is heavy
  • Signs of low calcium such as numbness or tingling around your mouth or in your hands and/or feet, muscle stiffness, twitching, spasms, or cramps
  • If you think you may be pregnant

Reproduction Warnings

  • Pregnancy warning: This drug may have harmful effects on the unborn baby. For this reason, be sure to talk with your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant while receiving this drug. Let your doctor know right away if you think you may be pregnant.
  • Breastfeeding warning: It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. For this reason, women should talk to their doctor about the risks and benefits of breastfeeding during treatment with this drug because this drug may enter the breast milk and cause harm to a breastfeeding baby.
  • Fertility warning: Human fertility studies have not been done with this drug. Talk with your doctor or nurse if you plan to have children. Ask for information on sperm or egg banking.

Revised May 2018