etidronate (generic name)

It 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. It helps make healthy bone and slows bone loss in people with Paget's disease. It may also be used in people with heterotropic ossification or high blood calcium.

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
  • dental disease
  • esophagus, stomach, or intestine problems, like acid reflux or GERD
  • kidney disease
  • osteomalacia
  • trouble swallowing
  • 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?

Take this medicine by mouth with a full glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Avoid food, milk products, vitamins with mineral supplements, and antacids with calcium, iron, magnesium, or aluminum within 2 hours of taking this medicine. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

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

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can if you have not already eaten. If you have already eaten, call your doctor of health care professional for advice. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • aluminum hydroxide
  • antacids
  • aspirin
  • calcium supplements
  • drugs for inflammation like ibuprofen, naproxen, and others
  • iron supplements
  • magnesium supplements
  • vitamins with minerals
  • warfarin

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

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

You should make sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D while you are taking this medicine, 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
  • black or tarry stools
  • broken bones
  • difficulty passing urine
  • hallucinations
  • heartburn or stomach pain
  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
  • worsening of asthma symptoms

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

  • bone, joint or muscle pain
  • confusion, depression or trouble with memory
  • diarrhea
  • nausea, vomiting

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

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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