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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using pamidronate (Aredia)?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to pamidronate or to other bisphosphonates such as alendronate (Fosamax), etidronate (Didronel), ibandronate (Boniva), risedronate (Actonel), tiludronate (Skelid), or zoledronic acid (Reclast, Zometa).
To make sure you can safely use pamidronate, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
Some people using medicines similar to pamidronate 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.
It is not known whether pamidronate 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 is pamidronate given (Aredia)?
Pamidronate is injected into a vein through an IV. This medication must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take up 2 to 24 hours to complete. You may be shown how to use an IV at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles, IV tubing, and other items used to inject the medicine.
Pamidronate is sometimes given as a single dose only one time. It may also be repeated over 3 days in a row, or given once every 3 to 4 weeks. How often you receive this medication and the length of your infusion time will depend on the condition being treated. Follow your doctor's instructions.
You may need to mix pamidronate with a liquid (diluent) in an IV bag before using it. If you are using the injections at home, be sure you understand how to properly mix and store the medication. Never mix pamidronate with a solution that contains calcium (such as lactated Ringer's solution) or with other drugs in the same IV bag or line.
Use a disposable needle only once. Throw away used needles in a puncture-proof container (ask your pharmacist where you can get one and how to dispose of it). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.
If you do not have hypercalcemia, your doctor may want you to take calcium or vitamin D supplements by mouth while you are using pamidronate. Do not take any vitamin or mineral supplements that your doctor has not prescribed.
To be sure this medicine is helping your condition and is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested often. Visit your doctor regularly.
Store unmixed pamidronate at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
After mixing pamidronate with a diluent, store in the refrigerator and use it within 24 hours. Do not freeze. Do not use the medication if it has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription.
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.
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