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AREDIA(Pamidronate Disodium)

Warning: Renal toxicity has been associated with Aredia and other bisphosphonates. This manifests as deterioration of renal function that can possible lead to kidney failure. The drug may also cause fetal harm when given to pregnant women. Women of childbearing potential should be advised to avoid becoming pregnant if they are taking this medication.  

Indications: Aredia is used to treat high blood calcium levels.  It has also been used to treat certain bone problems associated with certain types of cancer.  It can also be used in treating Paget’s disease, a medical condition that causes abnormal and weak bones.  The medication is used to treat multiple myeloma (cancer of the bone marrow) and cancer that has spread to bone from other tumors (metastatic breast cancer for example).

Aredia belongs to a class of drugs known as bisphosphonates.  It works by slowing the release of calcium from the bones into blood stream, lowering the blood calcium levels.  This helps to reduce the risk of broken bones and factures in addition to reducing bone pain.

Dosage:  Aredia is administered through an IV into a vein for anywhere from 2 to 24 hours.  The dosage can vary based on your medical condition and lab tests.  Your doctor is likely to order blood tests to check your kidney function before each treatment with this drug.  The usual adult maximum single dose is 90mg.  You may receive only a single dose if you are being treated for high blood calcium.  For cancer related bone problems, you may receive a dose every three to four weeks.  And for Paget’s disease the treatment could be daily for three days. 

When taking this medication it is very important that you drink plenty of fluids and pass urine frequently.  This will help avoid kidney problems.  Usually fluids are given intravenously along with the medication.  As it may take up to seven days before the full benefits take effect, talk to your doctor about how much fluid you should be drinking.  Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.   

Overdose: Overdosing  aredia can cause serious health problems which can manifests by the following symptoms:

  • fever  
  • change in taste 
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension) 

Contraindication:  The medication is also contraindicated during pregnancy or breastfeeding. See your doctor immediately if you become pregnant during the treatment; Aredia can cause serious problems to the fetus. The drug is contraindicated in patients allergic to any ingredients in Aredia. Tell your health care provider if you are allergic to:

  • skelid (tiludronate
  • etidronate (Didronel
  • alendronate (Fosamax)
  • risedronate (Actonel) 
  • Zoledronic acid (Zometa).  

Before being treated with Aredia, tell your doctor if you have or had a history of thyroid surgery, seizures, liver or kidney disease, thyroid surgery or dental surgery.  These factors may obligate him to prescribe another drug or change the way you should use the drug.  

Interactions:   Make sure your doctor and/or pharmacist have a complete list of all the medication you are taking.  This should include both by prescription and over the counter.  Some products, but not all, that may interact with this are other medications that affect the kidneys such as ibuprofen or naproxen; and other bisphosphonates, such as alendronate

Side effects: Aredia is associated with side effects which can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. Most common mild side effects of the medication include:  coughing; constipation; diarhea; nausea and vomiting; heartburn; difficulty sleeping; abdominal or stomach pain; bone pain; dizziness; indigestion; loss of appetite; swelling of your hands, arms, feet, ankles, or lower legs; difficulty or painful urination; fatigue or general weakness; and Pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site.

 

In rare cases, Aredia can cause serious side effects which require immediate medical attention. See your a health care provider immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:  

  • shortness of breath 
  • eye pain or tearing 
  • fast heartbeat 
  • faiting
  • vomiting blood 
  • jaw numbness and pain 
  • painful or swollen gums 
  • loosening of the teeth 
  • bloody or black and tarry stools
  • sudden tightening of muscles 
  • Numbness or tingling around your mouth or cheeks.  

 

References: 

 

1 - santecheznous.com, Aredia 

2 - nlm.nih.gov