Aredia Side Effects Center

Last updated on RxList: 5/19/2021
Aredia Side Effects Center

What Is Aredia?

Aredia (pamidronate disodium) is a bisphosphonate used to treat high levels of calcium in the blood related to cancer (also called hypercalcemia of malignancy), and is also used to treat Paget's disease of bone. Aredia is used to treat bone damage caused by certain types of cancer such as breast cancer or bone marrow cancer.

What Are Side Effects of Aredia?

Common side effects of Aredia include flu-like symptoms (such as mild fever, chills, fatigue, muscle/joint aches) after treatment. Most side effects of Aredia are mild and last up to 48 hours. Other side effects of Aredia include:

  • bone pain
  • infusion site reactions (redness, swelling, pain, or a hard painful lump)
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • stomach pain
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • drowsiness
  • trouble sleeping.

Dosage for Aredia

Aredia is given by slow injection into a vein for at least 2 hours, but up to 24 hours, or as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition, laboratory tests, and response to treatment. Blood tests to check kidney function will be done prior to treatment. The usual maximum adult dose of this medication is 90 milligrams.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Aredia?

Aredia may interact with lithium, methotrexate, pain or arthritis medicines, medicines used to treat ulcerative colitis, medicines used to prevent organ transplant rejection, IV antibiotics, antiviral medicines, or cancer medicine. Tell your doctor all medications you use.

Aredia During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding

Aredia is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may stay in your body for several years and may harm a fetus. Consult your doctor about use of birth control. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Additional Information

Our Aredia (pamidronate disodium) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


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Aredia Consumer Information

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Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • high fever;
  • new or unusual pain in your thigh or hip;
  • a seizure;
  • kidney problems--little or no urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath;
  • low potassium--leg cramps, constipation, irregular heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, increased thirst or urination, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness or limp feeling; or
  • low calcium levels--muscle spasms or contractions, numbness or tingly feeling (around your mouth, or in your fingers and toes).

Common side effects may include:

  • fever, headache;
  • bone pain;
  • increased blood pressure;
  • nausea, vomiting;
  • low calcium or phosphate levels; or
  • pain, redness, swelling or a hard lump under your skin around the IV needle.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Aredia (Pamidronate Disodium)

Aredia Professional Information


Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Clinical Studies

Hypercalcemia of Malignancy

Transient mild elevation of temperature by at least 1°C was noted 24 to 48 hours after administration of Aredia in 34% of patients in clinical trials. In the saline trial, 18% of patients had a temperature elevation of at least 1°C 24 to 48 hours after treatment.

Drug-related local soft-tissue symptoms (redness, swelling or induration and pain on palpation) at the site of catheter insertion were most common in patients treated with 90 mg of Aredia. Symptomatic treatment resulted in rapid resolution in all patients.

Rare cases of uveitis, iritis, scleritis, and episcleritis have been reported, including one case of scleritis, and one case of uveitis upon separate rechallenges.

Five of 231 patients (2%) who received Aredia during the four U.S. controlled hypercalcemia clinical studies were reported to have had seizures, 2 of whom had preexisting seizure disorders. None of the seizures were considered to be drug-related by the investigators. However, a possible relationship between the drug and the occurrence of seizures cannot be ruled out. It should be noted that in the saline arm 1 patient (4%) had a seizure.

There are no controlled clinical trials comparing the efficacy and safety of 90-mg Aredia over 24 hours to 2 hours in patients with hypercalcemia of malignancy. However, a comparison of data from separate clinical trials suggests that the overall safety profile in patients who received 90-mg Aredia over 24 hours is similar to those who received 90-mg Aredia over 2 hours. The only notable differences observed were an increase in the proportion of patients in the Aredia 24-hour group who experienced fluid overload and electrolyte/mineral abnormalities.

At least 15% of patients treated with Aredia for hypercalcemia of malignancy also experienced the following adverse events during a clinical trial:

General: Fluid overload, generalized pain

Cardiovascular: Hypertension

Gastrointestinal: Abdominal pain, anorexia, constipation, nausea, vomiting

Genitourinary: Urinary tract infection

Musculoskeletal: Bone pain

Laboratory Abnormality: Anemia, hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, hypophosphatemia

Many of these adverse experiences may have been related to the underlying disease state.

The following table lists the adverse experiences considered to be treatment-related during comparative, controlled U.S. trials.

Treatment-Related Adverse Experiences Reported in Three U.S. Controlled Clinical Trials

  Percent of Patients Aredia® Etidronate Disodium Saline
60 mg
over 4 hr
60 mg
over 24 hr
90 mg
over 24 hr
7.5 mg/kg x 3 days
  Edema 0 1 0 0 0
  Fatigue 0 0 12 0 0
  Fever 26 19 18 9 0
  Fluid overload 0 0 0 6 0
  Infusion-site reaction 0 4 18 0 0
  Moniliasis 0 0 6 0 0
  Rigors 0 0 0 0 4
  Abdominal pain 0 1 0 0 0
  Anorexia 4 1 12 0 0
  Constipation 4 0 6 3 0
  Diarrhea 0 1 0 0 0
  Dyspepsia 4 0 0 0 0
  Gastrointestinal hemorrhage 0 0 6 0 0
  Nausea 4 0 18 6 0
  Stomatitis 0 1 0 3 0
  Vomiting 4 0 0 0 0
  Dyspnea 0 0 0 3 0
  Rales 0 0 6 0 0
  Rhinitis 0 0 6 0 0
  Upper respiratory infection 0 3 0 0 0
  Anxiety 0 0 0 0 4
  Convulsions 0 0 0 3 0
  Insomnia 0 1 0 0 0
  Nervousness 0 0 0 0 4
  Psychosis 4 0 0 0 0
  Somnolence 0 1 6 0 0
  Taste perversion 0 0 0 3 0
  Atrial fibrillation 0 0 6 0 4
  Atrial flutter 0 1 0 0 0
  Cardiac failure 0 1 0 0 0
  Hypertension 0 0 6 0 4
  Syncope 0 0 6 0 0
  Tachycardia 0 0 6 0 4
  Hypothyroidism 0 0 6 0 0
Hemic and Lymphatic
  Anemia 0 0 6 0 0
  Leukopenia 4 0 0 0 0
  Neutropenia 0 1 0 0 0
  Thrombocytopenia 0 1 0 0 0
  Myalgia 0 1 0 0 0
  Uremia 4 0 0 0 0
Laboratory Abnormalities
  Hypocalcemia 0 1 12 0 0
  Hypokalemia 4 4 18 0 0
  Hypomagnesemia 4 10 12 3 4
  Hypophosphatemia 0 9 18 3 0
  Abnormal liver function 0 0 0 3 0

Paget's Disease

Transient mild elevation of temperature > 1°C above pretreatment baseline was noted within 48 hours after completion of treatment in 21% of the patients treated with 90 mg of Aredia in clinical trials.

Drug-related musculoskeletal pain and nervous system symptoms (dizziness, headache, paresthesia, increased sweating) were more common in patients with Paget's disease treated with 90 mg of Aredia than in patients with hypercalcemia of malignancy treated with the same dose.

Adverse experiences considered to be related to trial drug, which occurred in at least 5% of patients with Paget's disease treated with 90 mg of Aredia in two U.S. clinical trials, were fever, nausea, back pain, and bone pain.

At least 10% of all Aredia-treated patients with Paget's disease also experienced the following adverse experiences during clinical trials:

Cardiovascular: Hypertension

Musculoskeletal: Arthrosis, bone pain

Nervous system: Headache

Most of these adverse experiences may have been related to the underlying disease state.

Osteolytic Bone Metastases of Breast Cancer and Osteolytic Lesions of Multiple Myeloma

The most commonly reported ( > 15%) adverse experiences occurred with similar frequencies in the Aredia- and placebo- treatment groups, and most of these adverse experiences may have been related to the underlying disease state or cancer therapy.

Commonly Reported Adverse Experiences in Three U.S. Controlled Clinical Trials

  Aredia 90 mg over
4 hours
Aredia 90 mg over
2 hours
All Aredia®
90 mg
  Asthenia 16.1 17.1 25.6 19.2 22.2 18.5
  Fatigue 31.7 28.3 40.3 28.8 37.2 29.0
  Fever 38.5 38 38.1 32.1 38.5 34
  Metastases 1.0 3.0 31.3 24.4 20.5 17.5
  Pain 13.2 11.8 15.0 18.1 14.3 16.1
Digestive System
  Anorexia 17.1 17.1 31.1 24.9 26.0 22.3
  Constipation 28.3 31.7 36.0 38.6 33.2 35.1
  Diarrhea 26.8 26.8 29.4 30.6 28.5 29.7
  Dyspepsia 17.6 13.4 18.3 15.0 22.6 17.5
  Nausea 35.6 37.4 63.5 59.1 53.5 51.8
  Pain Abdominal 19.5 16.0 24.3 18.1 22.6 17.5
  Vomiting 16.6 19.8 46.3 39.1 35.7 32.8
Hemic and Lymphatic
  Anemia 47.8 41.7 39.5 36.8 42.5 38.4
  Granulocytopenia 20.5 15.5 19.3 20.5 19.8 18.8
  Thrombocytopenia 16.6 17.1 12.5 14.0 14.0 15.0
Musculoskeletal System
  Arthralgias 10.7 7.0 15.3 12.7 13.6 10.8
  Myalgia 25.4 15.0 26.4 22.5 26 20.1
  Skeletal Pain 61.0 71.7 70.0 75.4 66.8 74
  Anxiety 7.8 9.1 18.0 16.8 14.3 14.3
  Headache 24.4 19.8 27.2 23.6 26.2 22.3
  Insomnia 17.1 17.2 25.1 19.4 22.2 19.0
Respiratory System
  Coughing 26.3 22.5 25.3 19.7 25.7 20.6
  Dyspnea 22.0 21.4 35.1 24.4 30.4 23.4
  Pleural Effusion 2.9 4.3 15.0 9.1 10.7 7.5
  Sinusitis 14.6 16.6 16.1 10.4 15.6 12.0
  Upper Respiratory Tract Infection 32.2 28.3 19.6 20.2 24.1 22.9
Urogenital System
  Urinary Tract Infection 15.6 9.1 20.2 17.6 18.5 15.6

Of the toxicities commonly associated with chemotherapy, the frequency of vomiting, anorexia, and anemia were slightly more common in the Aredia patients whereas stomatitis and alopecia occurred at a frequency similar to that in placebo patients. In the breast cancer trials, mild elevations of serum creatinine occurred in 18.5% of Aredia patients and 12.3% of placebo patients. Mineral and electrolyte disturbances, including hypocalcemia, were reported rarely and in similar percentages of Aredia-treated patients compared with those in the placebo group. The reported frequencies of hypocalcemia, hypokalemia, hypophosphatemia, and hypomagnesemia for Aredia-treated patients were 3.3%, 10.5%, 1.7%, and 4.4%, respectively, and for placebo-treated patients were 1.2%, 12%, 1.7%, and 4.5%, respectively. In previous hypercalcemia of malignancy trials, patients treated with Aredia (60 or 90 mg over 24 hours) developed electrolyte abnormalities more frequently (see ADVERSE REACTIONS, Hypercalcemia of Malignancy).

Arthralgias and myalgias were reported slightly more frequently in the Aredia group than in the placebo group (13.6% and 26% vs 10.8% and 20.1%, respectively).

In multiple myeloma patients, there were five Aredia-related serious and unexpected adverse experiences. Four of these were reported during the 12-month extension of the multiple myeloma trial. Three of the reports were of worsening renal function developing in patients with progressive multiple myeloma or multiple myeloma-associated amyloidosis. The fourth report was the adult respiratory distress syndrome developing in a patient recovering from pneumonia and acute gangrenous cholecystitis. One Aredia-treated patient experienced an allergic reaction characterized by swollen and itchy eyes, runny nose, and scratchy throat within 24 hours after the sixth infusion.

In the breast cancer trials, there were four Aredia-related adverse experiences, all moderate in severity, that caused a patient to discontinue participation in the trial. One was due to interstitial pneumonitis, another to malaise and dyspnea. One Aredia patient discontinued the trial due to a symptomatic hypocalcemia. Another Aredia patient discontinued therapy due to severe bone pain after each infusion, which the investigator felt was trial-drug-related.

Renal Toxicity

In a study of the safety and efficacy of Aredia 90 mg (2-hour infusion) vs Zometa 4 mg (15-minute infusion) in bone metastases patients with multiple myeloma or breast cancer, renal deterioration was defined as an increase in serum creatinine of 0.5 mg/dL for patients with normal baseline creatinine ( < 1.4 mg/dL) or an increase of 1.0 mg/dL for patients with an abnormal baseline creatinine ( > 1.4 mg/dL). The following are data on the incidence of renal deterioration in patients in this trial. See table below.

Incidence of Renal Function Deterioration in Multiple Myeloma and Breast Cancer Patients with Normal and Abnormal Serum Creatinine at Baseline*

Patient Population/Baseline Creatinine Aredia® 90 mg/2 hours Zometa® 4 mg/15 minutes
n/N (%) n/N (%)
Normal 20/246 (8.1%) 23/246 (9.3%)
Abnormal 2/22 (9.1%) 1/26 (3.8%)
Total 22/268 (8.2%) 24/272 (8.8%)
*Patients were randomized following the 15-minute infusion amendment for the Zometa arm.

Post-Marketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been reported during post-approval use of Aredia. Because these reports are from a population of uncertain size and are subject to confounding factors, it is not possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

The following adverse reactions have been reported in post-marketing use: General: reactivation of herpes simplex and herpes zoster, influenza-like symptoms; CNS: confusion and visual hallucinations, sometimes in the presence of electrolyte imbalance; Skin: rash, pruritus; Special senses: conjunctivitis, orbital inflammation; Renal and urinary disorders: focal segmental glomerulosclerosis including the collapsing variant, nephrotic syndrome; renal tubular disorders (RTD); tubulointerstitial nephritis, and glomerulonephropathies. Laboratory abnormalities: hyperkalemia, hypernatremia, hematuria. Rare instances of allergic manifestations have been reported, including hypotension, dyspnea, or angioedema, and, very rarely, anaphylactic shock. Aredia is contraindicated in patients with clinically significant hypersensitivity to Aredia or other bisphosphonates (see CONTRAINDICATIONS). Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders: adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), interstitial lung disease (ILD). Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders: severe and occasionally incapacitating bone, joint, and/or muscle pain.

Cases of osteonecrosis (primarily involving the jaw) have been reported predominantly in cancer patients treated with intravenous bisphosphonates, including Aredia. Many of these patients were also receiving chemotherapy and corticosteroids which may be risk factors for ONJ. Data suggest a greater frequency of reports of ONJ in certain cancers, such as advanced breast cancer and multiple myeloma. The majority of the reported cases are in cancer patients following invasive dental procedures, such as tooth extraction. It is therefore prudent to avoid invasive dental procedures as recovery may be prolonged. (See PRECAUTIONS.)

Atypical subtrochanteric and diaphyseal femoral fractures have been reported with bisphosphonate therapy, including Aredia. (See PRECAUTIONS.)

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Aredia (Pamidronate Disodium)

© Aredia Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Aredia Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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