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Disodium pamidronate (Aredia)

Find out what disodium pamidronate is, how you have it and other important information about having disodium pamidronate.

Pamidronate is a bisphosphonate and is also known by its brand name, Aredia. 

It is a treatment for cancers that break down bone cells or that have spread to the bones, in particular:

  • myeloma
  • secondary breast cancer
  • secondary prostate cancer

You may also have it to treat high levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcaemia) caused by secondary bone cancer.

How it works

Disodium pamidronate sticks to the bone and helps to reduce bone loss.   

How you have it

Pamidronate is a clear fluid you have into the bloodstream (intravenously).

Drugs into your bloodstream

You have the treatment through a drip into your arm. A nurse puts a small tube (a cannula) into one of your veins and connects the drip to it.

You might need a central line. This is a long plastic tube that gives the drugs into a large vein, either in your chest or through a vein in your arm. It stays in while you’re having treatment, which may be for a few months.

When you have it

You can have pamidronate as a one off treatment to reduce calcium levels in your blood. Or you can have it every 3 to 4 weeks as a regular treatment to prevent or reduce bone damage. 

Each treatment lasts from one to several hours depending on the dose.

Tests during treatment

You have blood tests before starting treatment and during your treatment. They check your blood calcium levels. You might also need to do urine samples for testing and have tests to check how well your heart and kidneys are working.

Side effects

Important information

Other medicines, foods and drink

Cancer drugs can interact with some other medicines and herbal products. Tell your doctor or pharmacist about any medicines you are taking. This includes vitamins, herbal supplements and over the counter remedies.

Pregnancy and contraception

This treatment might harm a baby developing in the womb. It is important not to become pregnant or father a child while you are having treatment with this drug. Talk to your doctor or nurse about effective contraception before starting treatment.

Breastfeeding

Don’t breastfeed during this treatment because the drug may come through in your breast milk.

Treatment for other conditions

Always tell other doctors, nurses or dentists that you’re having this treatment if you need treatment for anything else, including teeth problems.

More information about this treatment

For further information about this treatment go to the electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC) website.

You can report any side effect you have to the Medicines Health and Regulatory Authority (MHRA) as part of their Yellow Card Scheme.

Information and help

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