Pamidronate is used to treat high blood calcium levels and certain bone problems (bone metastases/lesions) that may occur with some types of cancer. It is also used to treat a certain type of bone disease (Paget's disease) that causes abnormal and weak bones.
Pamidronate belongs to a class of drugs known as bisphosphonates. It works by slowing the release of calcium from bones to lower blood calcium levels, reducing the risk of broken bones (fractures) and reducing bone pain.
This medication is given by slow injection into a vein for at least 2 hours, but up to 24 hours, or as directed by your doctor.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, laboratory tests, and response to treatment. Your doctor will order blood tests to check your kidney function prior to each treatment with this medication. The usual maximum adult dose of this medication is 90 milligrams for a single dose.
If you are giving this medication to yourself at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.
If you are being treated for a high blood calcium level, you may receive only a single dose of pamidronate. If you are being treated for cancer-related bone problems, you may receive a dose every 3 to 4 weeks. If you are being treated for Paget's disease, you may receive treatment daily for 3 days. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
During treatment with this medication, it is important that you take in plenty of fluids and pass urine frequently to help avoid kidney problems. Intravenous fluids are usually given with this medication. Ask your doctor how much fluid you should drink, and follow these instructions carefully.
It may take up to 7 days before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
Flu-like symptoms (such as mild fever, chills, fatigue, muscle/joint aches) may occur after treatment. Most of these effects are mild and can last up to 48 hours. Bone pain, redness/swelling/pain at the infusion site, headache, dizziness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness or trouble sleeping may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if you experience any symptoms of low calcium such as muscle spasms or numbness/tingling (especially around the lips/mouth). Your doctor may ask you to take calcium and vitamin D supplements to prevent low blood calcium levels after treatment.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: trouble breathing, sores in jaw/mouth, jaw pain, increased or severe bone/joint/muscle pain, new or unusual hip/thigh/groin pain, eye problems (such as redness/itching/swelling or sensitivity to light), change in the amount of urine, unusual tiredness/weakness, mental/mood changes (such as irritability or confusion), fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using pamidronate, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or other bisphosphonates (such as alendronate); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: recent or planned dental procedures (such as tooth removal), parathyroid/thyroid surgery, kidney problems, severe loss of body water (dehydration), heart failure.
Infrequently, people taking this class of medication (bisphosphonates) have had serious jawbone problems (osteonecrosis). Lack of proper dental hygiene, poorly fitting dentures, or certain dental procedures (such as tooth extraction, dental surgery) may increase your risk. Medical conditions (such as gum disease/infection, cancer, anemia) might also increase the risk. If you develop jaw pain, tell your doctor and dentist immediately.
Before having any surgery (especially dental procedures), tell your doctor and dentist about this medication and all other products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). Your doctor or dentist may tell you to stop taking pamidronate before your surgery. Ask for specific instructions about stopping or starting this medication.
This medication may cause severe kidney problems. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information. To help prevent harm to your kidneys, drink plenty of fluids unless otherwise directed by your doctor. (See also How to Use section.)
Rarely, this drug may make some people dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Caution is advised if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant in the future. This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may stay in your body for several years and may harm an unborn baby. Consult your doctor for information on reliable forms of birth control.
It is unknown if pamidronate passes into breast milk. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: other bisphosphonates (such as alendronate), other medications which may affect the kidneys (including NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or naproxen).
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: muscle spasms or numbness/tingling (especially around the lips/mouth).
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as calcium, magnesium, phosphate, and potassium blood levels, complete blood count, albumin, kidney function tests such as serum creatinine) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately to establish a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Consult the product instructions and your pharmacist for storage details. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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