Didronel (Etidronate) Dosage and Side Effects
DIDRONEL is in a group of medicines called bisphosphonates (bis FOS fo nayts). It alters the cycle of bone formation and breakdown in the body.
DIDRONEL is used to treat Paget's disease, and to treat conditions of irregular bone growth due to hip fracture or spinal cord injury.
Proper Use of this medication
Do not crush, chew, or suck the pill. Swallow it whole.
Take each DIDRONEL tablet with a full glass (6 to 8 ounces) of water. Use only plain water (not mineral water) when taking an DIDRONEL tablet.
For at least the first 2 hours after taking DIDRONEL, do not eat or drink anything other than plain water, and do not take any other medicines including vitamins or mineral supplements.
It is important to take DIDRONEL regularly to get the most benefit.
If you need to have any dental work (especially surgery), tell the dentist ahead of time that you are using DIDRONEL. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.
After you stop taking DIDRONEL, you must stay off the medication for at least 90 days before starting DIDRONEL therapy again.
Your doctor will need to check your progress while you are using DIDRONEL.
DIDRONEL is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include taking calcium and vitamin supplements. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line.
Overdose symptoms may include vomiting, numbness or tingly feeling around your mouth, fast or slow heart rate, muscle tightness or contraction, overactive reflexes.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using DIDRONEL and call your doctor at once if you have:
- painful or difficult swallowing;
- severe heartburn, burning pain in your upper stomach, or coughing up blood;
- severe joint, bone, or muscle pain;
- jaw pain, numbness, or swelling;
- severe diarrhea; or
- severe skin reaction--fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Common side effects may include:
- mild diarrhea;
- headache, confusion;
- muscle cramps, joint pain; or
- numbness or tingly feeling.
Warnings and Precautions
You should not take this medicine if you have a condition called osteomalacia (softening of the bones), or a problem with the movement of muscles in your esophagus.
To make sure DIDRONEL is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- a bone fracture;
- trouble swallowing;
- a stomach or esophageal ulcer or disease; or
- kidney disease.
In rare cases, this medicine may cause bone loss (osteonecrosis) in the jaw. Symptoms include jaw pain or numbness, red or swollen gums, loose teeth, or slow healing after dental work. The longer you use DIDRONEL, the more likely you are to develop this condition.
Osteonecrosis of the jaw may be more likely if you have cancer or received chemotherapy, radiation, or steroids. Other risk factors include blood clotting disorders, anemia (low red blood cells), and a pre existing dental problem.
Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of using this medication.
It is not known whether DIDRONEL will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
It is not known whether DIDRONEL passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Interactions with this medication
Avoid drinking milk or eating dairy products within 2 hours after taking DIDRONEL. Also avoid taking supplements that contain calcium, magnesium, iron, or aluminum (such as in multivitamins with iron, and in many types of antacids).
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:
- a blood thinner--warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with DIDRONEL, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Other related products
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.