"By Kathleen Doheny
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH
March 10, 2015 -- Drugs known as biologics have grabbed headlines over the years, both for their potential in fighting cancer and other diseases, and f"...
IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
ETIDRONATE DISODIUM - ORAL
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Didronel
USES: Etidronate is used to treat a certain type of bone disease called Paget's disease. This disease weakens and deforms bones. Etidronate works by slowing bone loss, helping to keep your bones strong and less likely to break. It also helps reduce bone pain from this disease. This medication belongs to a class of drugs called bisphosphonates.
Etidronate is also used to prevent or treat bone problems that may occur after hip replacement surgery or spinal cord injury.
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
Etidronate may also be used to treat bone loss (osteoporosis) if you are taking corticosteroid medications (such as prednisone) for long periods. In addition, this medication may be used to treat a high level of calcium in the blood that may occur with some cancers.
HOW TO USE: Follow these instructions very closely to make sure you absorb as much of the drug as possible and reduce the risk of injury to your esophagus. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Take this medication by mouth without food, usually once a day or as directed by your doctor. Take it on an empty stomach at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after a meal.
Take etidronate with a full glass of plain water (6 to 8 ounces, 180 to 240 milliliters). Do not take it with any other beverage. After taking etidronate, stay fully upright (sitting, standing, or walking) and do not lie down for at least 30 minutes.
Do not take etidronate at the same time as food or other medications because they may prevent its absorption. Take this medication 2 hours before or 2 hours after taking any products that contain aluminum, calcium, iron, magnesium, or zinc. Some examples include antacids, certain forms of didanosine (chewable/dispersible buffered tablets or pediatric oral solution), quinapril, vitamins/minerals, dairy products (such as milk, yogurt), and calcium-enriched juice.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, weight, and response to treatment. If stomach upset occurs, talk to your doctor about dividing your daily dose into 2 or 3 smaller doses during the day instead of taking one daily dose all at once.
For Paget's disease and bone problems after hip replacement or spinal cord injury, you will usually take this medication for 3 to 6 months. Do not take more of this medication or use it for longer than prescribed because the risk of side effects may increase.
Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day.
Additional Didronel Information
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.
Get the latest treatment options.