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  • Generic Name: (pamidronate disodium)
    Other Brands: N/A
  • Last Revised: 10/2014
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Pamidronate is a medicine used to treat high blood calcium levels caused by certain types of cancer. Pamidronate is also used to treat Paget's disease of the bone. It is also used in combination with cancer chemotherapy to treat bone damage caused by a cancer called multiple myeloma or by a cancer that began in another part of the body but has spread to the bones. Pamidronate is administered intravenously (injected into a vein in your arm).

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      How does this medication work?

      Pamidronate works by blocking the breakdown of bones and decreasing the amount of calcium released from the bones into your blood, thereby helping to treat bone disease.

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

      What: In clinical studies, 78% of people treated with pamidronate had normalized blood calcium levels within 7 days. Pamidronate has also been shown to reduce skeletal-related events (such as fractures or bone surgeries) in people with certain cancers.

      When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions.

      How do I know it is working?

      Your healthcare provider may order tests regularly and ask you questions from time to time to check how well this medication is working.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      More common side effects may include: tiredness; fever; injection-site reactions; loss of appetite; nausea; low blood calcium, magnesium, phosphate, or potassium levels; pain; constipation; diarrhea; indigestion; vomiting; abdominal (stomach area) pain; bone, joint, or muscle pain; low red blood cell counts; anxiety; headache; trouble sleeping; coughing; upper respiratory infection; urinary tract infection.

      Less common side effects may include:

      Pamidronate may cause kidney problems or severe jaw bone problems.

      Pamidronate can also harm your unborn baby. Talk to your healthcare provider about other treatment options if you plan to become pregnant. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you become pregnant while taking pamidronate.

      Unusual fractures in the thigh bone, with symptoms such as new or unusual pain in your groin, or thigh.

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Your healthcare provider will not administer pamidronate to you if you are allergic to it, any of its ingredients, or to similar medicines (such as alendronate).

    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with pamidronate. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have kidney or thyroid problems; if you plan to have dental surgery; or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What is the usual dosage?

      The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

      Adults: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for you, based on your condition.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Your healthcare provider will administer pamidronate to you.

      Your healthcare provider may prescribe calcium and vitamin D to help prevent low blood calcium levels while you are receiving pamidronate. Take these exactly as directed by your healthcare provider.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not miss any scheduled follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider.

      Do not schedule dental procedures while you are receiving pamidronate. However, you should have a dental examination before beginning treatment.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      If pamidronate is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining pamidronate with medicines that harm your kidneys (such as cisplatin or amphotericin B) or thalidomide.

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      Pamidronate can harm your unborn baby if you receive it during pregnancy. The effects of pamidronate during breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      Pamidronate should be given under special circumstances determined by your healthcare provider. If you miss your scheduled dose, contact your healthcare provider or pharmacist for advice.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Your healthcare provider will store this medication for you.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
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