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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.
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...
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....
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...
Related Disease Conditions
Menopause is the time in a woman's life when menstrual periods permanently stop, also called the "change of life." Menopause...
Learn about osteoporosis, a condition characterized by the loss of bone density, which leads to an increased risk of bone...
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...
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...
Hypercalcemia (Elevated Calcium Levels)
Hypercalcemia is a condition in which calcium levels in the blood are elevated. Hypercalcemia is associated with other conditions...
Broken Bone (Types of Bone Fractures)
A broken bone is a fracture. There are different types of fractures, such as: compressed, open, stress, greenstick,...
Paget's disease is a chronic bone disorder due to irregular breakdown and formation of bone tissue. Symptoms of Paget's disease...
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