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Paget's Disease of Bone - Medications

Doctors can use several types of medicine to treat Paget's disease. Although it is not possible to cure Paget's disease with medicines, they can make the disease inactive and may reduce complications. Medicines such as bisphosphonate and calcitonin slow the breakdown and rebuilding of bone tissue. You can use over-the-counter medicines such as acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or other pain medicines to treat bone pain.

Medication Choices

Medicines that slow the breakdown and rebuilding of bone tissue include:

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  • Bisphosphonates, which are usually the first medicines used to treat Paget's disease.
  • Calcitonin, which is usually given by injection. Your doctor probably will prescribe calcitonin if you cannot tolerate bisphosphonates or if they have not been effective in treating your symptoms.

What to Think About

You may need to take medicine for several weeks before symptoms of Paget's disease improve.

Some medicines control the disease and its symptoms only while the person is taking the medicine. Soon after the medicine is stopped, symptoms may come back.

Your doctor may recommend medicine for Paget's disease even though you have no symptoms. Medicines prevent the rapid breakdown of bone tissue and may decrease the chance of complications of Paget's disease.

An oral bisphosphonate such as alendronate (Fosamax) or risedronate (Actonel) typically is used first. If the side effects are too much for you, you can try intravenous pamidronate (Aredia) or zoledronic acid (Reclast).


WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 01, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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