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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking etidronate (Didronel)?
Do not take etidronate if you have a condition called osteomalacia (softening of the bones), or a problem with the movement of muscles in your esophagus.
To make sure you can safely take etidronate, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
Some people using medicines similar to etidronate have developed bone loss in the jaw, also called osteonecrosis of the jaw. Symptoms of this condition may include jaw pain, swelling, numbness, loose teeth, gum infection, or slow healing after injury or surgery involving the gums.
You may be more likely to develop osteonecrosis of the jaw if you have cancer or have been treated with chemotherapy, radiation, or steroids. Other conditions associated with osteonecrosis of the jaw include blood clotting disorders, anemia (low red blood cells), and dental surgery or pre-existing dental problems.
Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of using this medication.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether etidronate will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication..
It is not known whether etidronate passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I take etidronate (Didronel)?
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Do not crush, chew, or suck the pill. Swallow it whole.
Take each etidronate tablet with a full glass (6 to 8 ounces) of water. Use only plain water (not mineral water) when taking an etidronate tablet.
For at least the first 2 hours after taking etidronate, do not eat or drink anything other than plain water, and do not take any other medicines including vitamins or mineral supplements.
It is important to take etidronate regularly to get the most benefit.
If you need to have any dental work (especially surgery), tell the dentist ahead of time that you are using etidronate. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.
After you stop taking etidronate, you must stay off the medication for at least 90 days before starting etidronate therapy again.
Your doctor will need to check your progress on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.
Etidronate is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include taking calcium and vitamin supplements. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
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