Pamidronate Disodium

(Generic Name) Other Names: Aredia®

About this drug

Pamidronate is used to treat high levels of calcium in the blood. This drug also may be used to prevent problems in the bone from certain cancers. Pamidronate is given intravenously (IV).

Possible side effects

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Skin and tissue irritation. You may have redness, pain, warmth, or swelling at the IV site.
  • Diarrhea
  • Mild rise in temperature. This usually occurs for only the first 48 hours.
  • The following side effects are rare: high blood pressure, headaches, muscle and joint pain, and decreased appetite.
  • Anemia
  • Signs of hypocalcemia: abdominal cramps, muscle cramps, or spasm
  • This drug may have harmful effects on the unborn child, so effective methods of birth control should be used during your cancer treatment.
  • Osteonecrosis (oss-tee-oh-ne-KRO-sis) of the jaw. This is a breakdown of the jaw bone. It is a serious but rare condition.

Possible symptoms include:

  • Pain, swelling, or infection of the gums
  • Loosening of the teeth
  • Poor healing of the gums
  • Numbness or the feeling of heaviness in the jaw

Treating side effects

  • Ask your doctor or nurse about medication that is available to help prevent or lessen nausea and vomiting.
  • Check with your doctor or nurse before you use enemas, laxatives, or suppositories.
  • Use effective methods of birth control during your cancer treatment.
  • Tell your oncologist if you have dental problems before you start this drug. It is important that your dentist knows that you are on this drug. Provide your dentist and your oncologist with each other’s name and telephone number for consultation.
  • Keep your teeth and mouth very clean. Brush your teeth and tongue with a soft toothbrush after every meal and at bedtime.
  • Use a mirror to check your teeth and gums daily for any changes, such as sores or bleeding gums. If you notice a change, report it to your oncologist immediately.

Food and drug interactions

There are no known interactions of pamidronate and any food. This drug may interact with other medications. Tell your doctor and pharmacist all the medications that you are currently taking.

When to call the doctor

Call your doctor or nurse immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Temperature of 100.5 F (38 C) or above
  • Chills
  • Shortness of breath
  • Uncontrolled nausea that prevents you from eating or drinking
  • Vomiting more than three times in one day
  • Redness, pain, warmth, or swelling at the IV site
  • Swelling of ankles
  • Difficulty catching your breath
  • Eye pain or irritation or changes in vision
  • Excessive watering of the eyes
  • Seizures

Notify your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea of five or six stools in one day
  • Diarrhea with weakness or lightheadedness
  • Nausea unrelieved by prescribed medication
  • Pain in your arms or legs unrelieved by prescribed medication
  • Headache unrelieved by prescribed medication
  • No bowel movement for three days or if you become uncomfortable
  • Unable to empty all the urine in your bladder
  • Abdominal pain
  • Extreme tiredness that interferes with normal activities
  • Pain in your mouth, teeth, gums or jaw
  • Swelling or bleeding of your gums
  • Loosening of your teeth
  • Numbness or the feeling of heaviness in the jaw

Other information

It is very important you discuss dental work with your oncologist before you have it done. This includes pulling of teeth, insertion of dental implants, and special gum treatments. Your electrolytes will be monitored closely.

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