etidronate (generic name)

This drug helps make healthy bone and slows bone loss in people with Paget's disease
(e ti DROE nate)
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What is this medicine?

ETIDRONATE (e ti DROE nate) reduces calcium loss from bone. This drug helps make healthy bone and slows bone loss in people with Paget's disease. It may also be used in others with heterotropic ossification or high blood calcium.


NOTE: This drug is discontinued in the United States.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • asthma
  • kidney disease
  • osteomalacia
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to etidronate, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is given by a healthcare professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • warfarin

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checkups. It may be some time before you see the benefit from this medicine. Do not stop taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to. Your doctor may order blood tests or other tests to see how you are doing.

You should make sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D, unless your doctor tells you not to. Discuss the foods you eat and the vitamins you take with your health care professional.

Some people who take this medicine have severe bone, joint, and/or muscle pain. This medicine may also increase your risk for a broken thigh bone. Tell your doctor right away if you have pain in your upper leg or groin. Tell your doctor if you have any pain that does not go away or that gets worse.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions such as skin rash or itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, throat or tongue
  • difficulty passing urine
  • gut or lower back pain
  • heartburn or stomach pain
  • increased bone pain
  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • changes in taste, metallic taste or decreased taste perception
  • diarrhea or constipation
  • joint or muscle pain
  • nausea, vomiting

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Once diluted, use injection solution within 48 hours and store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused injection solution.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: June 15, 2012
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