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All about: pamidronate

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Generic Name: pamidronate (pah MIH droe nate)
Brand Names: Aredia

What is pamidronate?

Pamidronate is in a class of drugs called bisphosphonates. Pamidronate reduces breakdown of the bones.

Pamidronate is used in the treatment of Paget's disease of bone; to reduce high levels of calcium in the blood associated with malignancy (cancer); and to reduce the breakdown of bone due to metastases of breast cancer or multiple myeloma (a type of cancer of the blood).

Pamidronate may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about pamidronate?

Do not use pamidronate without first talking to your doctor if you have had an allergic reaction to pamidronate or another similar medication such as alendronate (Fosamax), etidronate (Didronel), risedronate (Actonel), tiludronate (Skelid), or zoledronic acid (Zometa).

A dental examination with appropriate preventive dentistry should be considered before starting treatment with pamidronate. This is especially important if you:

  • have poor dental health;

  • have cancer;

  • are receiving chemotherapy; or

  • are taking corticosteroids.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using pamidronate?

Do not use pamidronate without first talking to your doctor if you have had an allergic reaction to pamidronate or another similar medication such as alendronate (Fosamax), etidronate (Didronel), risedronate (Actonel), tiludronate (Skelid), or zoledronic acid (Zometa). Before using pamidronate, talk to your doctor if you have kidney disease. You may not be able to use pamidronate, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment.

A dental examination with appropriate preventive dentistry should be considered before starting treatment with pamidronate. This is especially important if you:

  • have poor dental health;

  • have cancer;

  • are receiving chemotherapy; or

  • are taking corticosteroids.

Pamidronate is in the FDA pregnancy category D. This means that it is known to be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not use pamidronate without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether pamidronate passes into breast milk. Do not use pamidronate without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use pamidronate?

A healthcare professional will administer pamidronate by injection into a vein (intravenous infusion).

If you are using pamidronate at home, your healthcare provider will give you detailed instructions regarding preparation, administration, and storage of the medication.

Your doctor may want you to have regularly scheduled blood tests or other medical evaluations during treatment with pamidronate to monitor progress and side effects.

Your healthcare provider will store pamidronate as directed by the manufacturer.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Contact your doctor if you miss a dose of pamidronate.

What happens if I overdose?

If an overdose of pamidronate is suspected, seek emergency medical attention or contact your healthcare provider immediately.

The symptoms of a pamidronate overdose may include fever and low blood pressure.

What should I avoid while using pamidronate?

There are no restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while using pamidronate unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

Pamidronate side effects

Stop using pamidronate and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following serious side effects:
  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);

  • kidney problems (detected by blood tests);

  • seizures; or

  • low levels of calcium, magnesium, or phosphorus in the blood (detected by blood tests).

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to use pamidronate and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • low-grade fever;

  • dizziness, headache, or fatigue;

  • bone pain or general weakness;

  • stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, or constipation; or

  • redness, pain, or swelling at the injection site.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect pamidronate?

Other medicines that affect the kidneys may increase the risk of damage to the kidneys if used during treatment with pamidronate. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products during treatment with pamidronate.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has more information about pamidronate written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Pamidronate is available with a prescription under the brand name Aredia as an injection. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.01. Revision Date: 10/1/04 12:26:59 PM.

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