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All about: Aredia

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Generic Name: Pamidronate (pam-ih-DROE-nate)
Brand Name: Aredia

Aredia is used for:

Treating high calcium levels in the blood due to cancer. It is also used to treat Paget disease of the bone and bone tumors caused by certain cancers. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Aredia is a bisphosphonate. It works by reducing normal and abnormal bone loss, which helps to maintain bone strength. This also helps to reduce the amount of calcium in the blood in situations in which the levels of blood calcium may be too high.

Do NOT use Aredia if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Aredia or to other bisphosphonates (eg, alendronate)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Aredia :

Some medical conditions may interact with Aredia . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have stomach or bowel problems, low calcium blood levels, blood problems (eg, anemia, low blood platelet levels, low white blood cell counts), kidney problems, or dental problems
  • if you are using chemotherapy or radiation

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Aredia . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Medicines that may harm the kidney (eg, aminoglycosides [eg, gentamicin, amikacin], amphotericin B, cyclosporine, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [eg, ibuprofen], tacrolimus, vancomycin) because the risk of kidney side effects may be increased. Ask your doctor if you are unsure if any of your medicines might harm the kidney.
  • Corticosteroids (eg, prednisone) because risk of jaw bone problems may be increased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Aredia may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Aredia :

Use Aredia as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Aredia is usually administered as an infusion at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using Aredia at home, carefully follow the injection procedures taught to you by your health care provider.
  • If Aredia contains particles or is discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain local regulations for proper disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of Aredia , contact your doctor immediately.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Aredia .

Important safety information:

  • Aredia may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to Aredia . Using Aredia alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Aredia may cause jaw bone problems in some patients, especially those who have cancer, are using certain medicines (such as chemotherapy or corticosteroids), or have poor dental hygiene. These problems have been often associated with dental procedures. Talk to your doctor about an appropriate dental examination before you begin treatment with Aredia .
  • Certain dental procedures should be avoided if possible while you are using Aredia .
  • LAB TESTS, including kidney function tests, complete blood cell count, and calcium, phosphate, magnesium, and potassium blood levels, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Aredia with extreme caution in CHILDREN. Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Do not use Aredia if you are pregnant. Aredia may cause harm to the fetus. Avoid becoming pregnant while taking Aredia . If you think you may be pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Aredia during pregnancy. It is unknown if Aredia is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using Aredia , check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Aredia :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Back pain; constipation; coughing; dizziness; drowsiness; headache; increased sweating; indigestion; loss of appetite; mild bone, joint, or muscle pain; mild fever for 24 to 48 hours; nausea; stomach pain; stuffy or runny nose; trouble sleeping; unusual tiredness; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); abnormal skin sensations; decreased urination; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; frequent or painful urination; jaw pain or swelling; muscle cramps or spasms; pain, swelling, or redness at injection site; persistent or high fever; seizures; severe or prolonged bone, joint, or muscle pain; shortness of breath; unusual weakness; vision changes; white patches in the mouth.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include high fever; lightheadedness; muscle cramps or spasms; taste changes.

Proper storage of Aredia :

Aredia is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using Aredia at home, store Aredia as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Aredia , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Aredia is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Aredia . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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