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What is etidronate, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- Etidronate is in a class of drugs called bisphosphonates that is used for treating osteoporosis (reduced density of bone that leads to fractures) and bone pain from diseases such as metastatic breast cancer, multiple myeloma, and Paget's disease. The bisphosphonate class includes alendronate (Fosamax), ibandronate (Boniva), pamidronate (Aredia), risedronate (Actonel), and tiludronate (Skelid). Bone is in a constant state of remodeling; new bone is laid down by cells called osteoblasts while old bone is removed by cells called osteoclasts. Bisphosphonates strengthen bone by inhibiting bone removal by osteoclasts. After menopause, there is an increased rate of bone loss leading to osteoporosis, and etidronate has been shown to increase bone density and decrease fractures of bones.
- The FDA approved etidronate in September 1977.
Quick GuideWhat Is Osteoporosis? Treatment, Symptoms, Medication
What is the dosage for etidronate?
- The recommended dose for treating adults with Paget's disease is 5-10 mg/kg daily for up to 6 months or 11 to 20/mg/kg daily for up to 3 months. The maximum dose is 20 mg/kg daily.
- The dose for preventing heterotopic ossification after hip replacement is 20 mg/kg daily one month before and for 3 months after surgery.
- For prevention of heterotopic ossification after spinal cord injury the dose is 20 mg/kg daily for 2 weeks then 10 mg/kg daily for 10 weeks.
Food (especially, calcium rich foods such as dairy products), antacids, vitamins with mineral supplements, and certain medications can interfere with the absorption of Didronel. Therefore, Didronel should be taken on an empty stomach 2 hours before or after eating or taking other medications.
Is etidronate safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Didronel (etidronate) is a medication prescribed for the treatment of Paget's disease and preventing heterotopic ossification. Off-label uses include the treatment of hypercalcemia associated with cancer, prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis and steroid induced osteoporosis. Side effects may include:
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Osteoporosis Quiz: What is Osteoporosis?
What are the causes, symptoms, and risk factors of osteoporosis? Quiz yourself about vitamin deficiency, maintaining bone...
Picture of Osteoporosis
Thinning of the bones with reduction in bone mass due to depletion of calcium and bone protein. See a picture of Osteoporosis and...
Picture of Osteoporosis Progression
Bone mass (bone density) is the amount of bone present in the skeletal structure. See a picture of Osteoporosis Progression and...
Osteoporosis Super-Foods for Strong Bones With Pictures
What sweetener is loaded with calcium? These bone-building super foods can help stave off osteoporosis, and many of them will...
What Is Osteoporosis? Treatment, Symptoms, Medication
Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and density. Osteoporosis causes symptoms of weak, thin, fragile bones....
Related Disease Conditions
Learn about osteoporosis, a condition characterized by the loss of bone density, which leads to an increased risk of bone...
Paget's disease is a chronic bone disorder due to irregular breakdown and formation of bone tissue. Symptoms of Paget's disease...
Broken Bone (Types of Bone Fractures)
A broken bone is a fracture. There are different types of fractures, such as: compressed, open, stress, greenstick,...
Menopause is the time in a woman's life when menstrual periods permanently stop, also called the "change of life." Menopause...
Premature Menopause (Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments)
Premature menopause is when menopause occurs in a woman before the age of 40. Causes of premature menopause include premature...
Spinal Cord Injury: Treatments and Rehabilitation
When vertebrae are broken or dislocated, the result can cause traumatic injury to the spinal cord. A spinal cord injury can have...
Hypercalcemia (Elevated Calcium Levels)
Hypercalcemia is a condition in which calcium levels in the blood are elevated. Hypercalcemia is associated with other conditions...
Treatment & Diagnosis
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Top etidronate Related Articles
alendronateAlendronate (Fosamax) is in a drug class of medications called bisphosphonates. Fosamax is prescribed for treating osteoporosis, bone pain from diseases such as breast cancer, multiple myeloma, and Paget's disease. Dosing, side effects, warnings and precautions, and safety during pregnancy should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Broken Bone (Types of Bone Fractures)A broken bone is a fracture. There are different types of fractures, such as:
- vertebral compression,
- compound, and
calcitoninCalcitonin-salmon (Miacalcin, Fortical) is a man-made version of the hormone calcitonin. Calcitonin-salmon is prescribed to treat osteoporosis (postmenopause), Paget's disease of the bone, and hypercalcemia. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and efficacy during pregnancy information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Drug InteractionsDrug interactions occur frequently. Get facts about the types of drug interactions, what substances or other things that may interact with drugs such as OTC drug and prescription drugs, vitamins, food(s) (grapefruit), and laboratory tests. Find out how to protect yourself from potential drug interactions.
Drugs: What You Should Know About Your DrugsImportant information about your drugs should be reviewed prior to taking any prescription drug. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precauctions, dosage, what the drug is used for, what to do if you miss a dose, how the drug is to be stored, and generic vs. brand names.
HypercalcemiaHypercalcemia is a condition in which calcium levels in the blood are elevated. Hypercalcemia is associated with other conditions such as:
- lung cancer,
- breast cancer,
- kidney failure, and
- elevated levels of vitamin D.
- abdominal pain, and
- kidney stones.
Boniva (ibandronate) is a medication prescribed for the treatment of osteoporosis in women after menopause. Side effects may include:
- Abdominal pain
- Back pain
- Tooth disorder
Drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and patient safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
MenopauseMenopause is the time in a woman's life when menstrual periods permanently stop, also called the "change of life." Menopause symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, irregular vaginal bleeding, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, urinary incontinence, weight gain, and emotional symptoms such as mood swings. Treatment of menopausal symptoms varies, and should be discussed with your physician.
OsteoporosisLearn about osteoporosis, a condition characterized by the loss of bone density, which leads to an increased risk of bone fracture. Unless one experiences a fracture, a person may have osteoporosis for decades without knowing it. Treatment for osteoporosis may involve medications that stop bone loss and increase bone strength and bone formation, as well as quitting smoking, regular exercise, cutting back on alcohol intake, and eating a calcium- and vitamin D-rich balanced diet.
Osteoporosis PictureThinning of the bones with reduction in bone mass due to depletion of calcium and bone protein. See a picture of Osteoporosis and learn more about the health topic.
Osteoporosis SlideshowOsteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and density. Osteoporosis causes symptoms of weak, thin, fragile bones. Learn the treatments and medications used to fight osteoporosis, as well as prevention tips.
Osteoporosis QuizWhat are the causes, symptoms, and risk factors of osteoporosis? Quiz yourself about vitamin deficiency, maintaining bone density, and preventing osteoporosis-related fractures.
Paget's DiseasePaget's disease is a chronic bone disorder due to irregular breakdown and formation of bone tissue. Symptoms of Paget's disease include bone pain, headaches and hearing loss, pressure on nerves, increased head size, hip pain, and damage to cartilage of joints.
Premature Menopause (Medical Procedural Causes)Premature menopause is when menopause occurs in a woman before the age of 40. Causes of premature menopause include premature ovarian failure, treatments for cancer and other conditions, surgical removal of the ovaries, or chronic diseases of the pituitary or thyroid gland, or psychiatric disorders. Treatment is directed at menopausal symptoms.
Risedronate (Actonel, Actonel with Calcium, Atelvia) is a prescription medication used to treat postmenopausal osteoporosis, osteoporosis in men, and to prevent and treat osteoporosis caused by steroid medications. Common side effects include:
- Joint pain
- High blood pressure
Drug interactions, dosage, warnings and precautions, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Spinal Cord Injury: Treatments and RehabilitationWhen vertebrae are broken or dislocated, the result can cause traumatic injury to the spinal cord. A spinal cord injury can have significant physiological consequences. One indication of the severity of a spinal cord injury are respiratory complications. Spinal cord injuries are classified as either complete or incomplete. Spinal cord injury affects can include:
- affected breathing,
- lower blood pressure,
- irregular heartbeat,
- blood clots,
- autonomic dysreflexia,
- bed sores (pressure sores),
- chronic pain,
- bladder and bowel problems, and
- reproductive and sexual function issues.
Super Foods for BonesWhat sweetener is loaded with calcium? These bone-building super foods can help stave off osteoporosis, and many of them will surprise you.
Total Hip ReplacementDuring total hip replacement, diseased hip cartilage and bone is replaced with artificial materials. Risks of the surgery include blood clots in the lower extremities, difficulty with urination, infection, bone fracture, scarring, limited range of motion, and prosthesis failure.
Reclast (zoledronic acid) is an injectable drug in a class of drugs referred to as bisphosphonates. It is prescribed for the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women and men, Paget's disease of bone in men and women, osteoporosis prevention in postmenopausal women, and the treatment of steroid-induced osteoporosis. Side effects include
- Pain in the feet or hands
Drug interactions, warnings and precautions, dosage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.