Also part of the UPMC family:

Pamidronate Disodium (Generic Name)

UPMC Content 2

About This Drug

This drug may be used to prevent bone problems from certain cancers. It is given in the vein (IV). 

Possible Side Effects (More Common)

  • This drug may affect how your kidneys work. Your kidney function will be checked as needed.
  • Electrolyte changes. Your blood will be checked for electrolyte changes as needed.
  • Nausea and throwing up (vomiting). These symptoms may happen within a few hours after your treatment and may last up to 24 hours. Medicines are available to stop or lessen these side effects.

Possible Side Effects (Less Common)

  • Skin and tissue irritation. You may have redness, pain, warmth, or swelling at the IV site.
  • Osteonecrosis (oss-tee-oh-ne-KRO-sis) of the jaw. This is a breakdown of the jaw bone. 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

Treating Side Effects

  • Drink 6-8 cups of fluids each day unless your doctor has told you to limit your fluid intake due to some other health problem. A cup is 8 ounces of fluid. If you throw up or have loose bowel movements you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated (lack water in the body due to losing too much fluid).
  • Check with your doctor or nurse before you use enemas, laxatives, or suppositories.
  • Use effective methods of birth control during your treatment. Talk to your doctor or nurse about which types of birth control should be used.
  • Tell your dentist and your cancer doctor about any dental problems you may have before you start this drug. It is important that your dentist knows that you are on this drug. Provide your dentist and your cancer doctor 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 each day for any changes, such as sores or bleeding gums. If you notice a change, report it to your cancer doctor right away.

Other Information

It is very important that you talk to your cancer doctor before you have any dental work done. This includes pulling of teeth, insertion of dental implants, and special gum treatments. 

Food and Drug Interactions

There are no known interactions of pamidronate and any food. This drug may interact with other medicines. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) that you are taking at this time. The safety and use of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often not known. Using these might affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's help. 

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse right away if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Temperature of 100.5 F (38 C) or above
  • Chills
  • Trouble breathing or feeling short of breath
  • Nausea that stops you from eating or drinking
  • Throwing up more than three times in one day
  • Redness, pain, warmth, or swelling at the IV site
  • Swelling of ankles
  • Seizures

Call your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Diarrhea with weakness or feeling lightheaded
  • Nausea that is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • Pain in your arms or legs that is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • No bowel movement for three days or if you become uncomfortable
  • Trouble passing urine or a feeling that your bladder is not empty after you pass urine
  • 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

Reproduction Concerns

  • Pregnancy warning: This drug may have harmful effects on the unborn child, so effective methods of birth control should be used during your cancer treatment.
  • Breast feeding warning: Women should not breast feed during treatment because this drug could enter the breast milk and badly harm a breast feeding baby.

Revised July 2014