Pamidronate disodium (Aredia®)

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

  • Decrease in red blood cells. This may make you feel more tired.
  • Nausea and vomiting (throwing up)
  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Injection site reaction - you may get a rash, swelling or bruising or your skin may get red, warm, itchy or painful at the site of your infusion or injection
  • Headache
  • Bone, muscle and/or joint pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Changes in electrolytes
  • High blood pressure

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 jaw bone. It is a serious but rare health problem.
  • Severe joint, bone and muscle pain
  • Risk of femur fracture
  • Severe low calcium, which can be life-threatening 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.
  • Drink plenty of fluids (a minimum of eight glasses per day is recommended).
  • If you throw up or have loose bowel movements, you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated (lack of water in the body from losing too much fluid).
  • To help with nausea and vomiting, eat small, frequent meals instead of three large meals a day. Choose foods and drinks that are at room temperature. Ask your nurse or doctor about other helpful tips and medicine that is available to help stop or lessen these symptoms.
  • 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. Give your dentist and your cancer doctor each other’s name and phone number so they may call each other if they have any questions.
  • While you are getting this drug, please tell your nurse right away if you get a rash, swelling or bruising or your skin gets red, warm, itchy or painful at the site of your infusion or injection.

Food and Drug Interactions

  • There are no known interactions of pamidronate disodium with food.
  • This drug may interact with other medicines. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the prescription and over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) that you are taking at this time. 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 100.4° F (38° C) or higher
  • Chills
  • Headache that does not go away
  • Blurry vision or other changes in eyesight
  • Tiredness that interferes with your daily activities
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing
  • Nausea that stops you from eating or drinking and/or is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • Throwing up more than 3 times a day
  • 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
  • Injection site reaction - you may get a rash, swelling or bruising or your skin may get red, warm, itchy or painful at the site of your infusion or injection
  • 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 August 2019

This patient information was developed by Via Oncology, LLC © 2019. This information is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have.

CLIENT acknowledges that the Via Pathways and Via Portal are information management tools only, and that Via Oncology, LLC has not represented the Via Pathways or Via Portal as having the ability to diagnose disease, prescribe treatment, or perform any other tasks that constitute the practice of medicine. The clinical information contained in the Via Pathways and Via Portal are intended as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the knowledge, expertise, skill, and judgment of physicians, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals involved with patient care at CLIENT facilities.