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Generic Name: pamidronate (PAM-i-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, asthma, or dental problems
  • if you have had thyroid surgery or have low parathyroid hormone levels
  • if you are using chemotherapy or radiation
  • if you are taking any medicines that can cause jaw bone problems. There are many medicines that can do this. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure

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

  • Corticosteroids (eg, prednisone) or angiogenesis inhibitors (eg, bevacizumab) because the risk of jaw bone problems may be increased
  • Thalidomide or medicines that may harm the kidney (eg, aminoglycosides [eg, amikacin, gentamicin], amphotericin B, cyclosporine, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs] [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

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 given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • If you miss a dose of Aredia, contact your doctor right away.

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

Important safety information:

  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Aredia before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Aredia may cause dizziness or drowsiness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Aredia with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Talk with your doctor about whether you should take a calcium and vitamin D supplement while you use Aredia. Do not start a calcium and vitamin D supplement without first checking with your doctor. Do not take a calcium and vitamin D supplement if you have high blood calcium levels.
  • Aredia may cause jaw bone problems in some patients. Your risk may be greater the longer you take Aredia or if you have cancer, poor dental hygiene, ill-fitting dentures, or certain other conditions (eg, anemia, blood clotting problems, dental problems, infection). Your risk may also be greater if you have certain dental procedures or you use certain medicines or therapies (eg, chemotherapy, corticosteroids, radiation). Talk to your doctor about having a dental exam before you start to use Aredia. Ask your doctor any questions you may have about dental treatment while you use Aredia.
  • Certain dental procedures should be avoided if possible while you are using Aredia.
  • Proper dental care is important while you are taking Aredia. Brush and floss your teeth and visit the dentist regularly.
  • Worsening of asthma has been reported in patients taking medicines like this one. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Lab tests, including kidney function tests, complete blood cell counts, and calcium, phosphate, magnesium, and potassium blood levels, may be performed while you use Aredia. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Do not use Aredia if you are pregnant. It may cause harm to the fetus. Avoid becoming pregnant while you are taking it. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Aredia while you are pregnant. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Aredia, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible 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; unusual hoarseness); confusion; decreased urination; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; frequent or painful urination; hallucinations; jaw pain or swelling; mental or mood changes; muscle cramps or spasms; numbness or tingling of the skin; pain, swelling, or redness at injection site; persistent or high fever; seizures; severe or persistent stomach pain, headache, or dizziness; severe or persistent tiredness or weakness; severe or prolonged bone, joint, or muscle pain; shortness of breath; vision changes; white patches in the mouth.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Aredia:

Aredia is handled and stored by a health care provider. You will not store it at home. Keep all medicines out of the reach of children and away from pets.

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.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Aredia or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Aredia. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Aredia. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Aredia.

Issue Date: June 3, 2015

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.