Proper Use

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

Take this medicine only as directed. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.

Make sure your doctor knows if your diet includes large amounts of calcium, such as milk or other dairy products, or if you are on any special diet, such as a low-sodium or low-sugar diet. Calcium in the diet may prevent the absorption of oral etidronate.

Take etidronate with a full glass (6 to 8 ounces) of water on an empty stomach at least 2 hours before or after food (mid-morning is best) or at bedtime. Food may decrease the amount of etidronate absorbed by your body.

Do not lie down for at least 30 minutes after taking this medicine, and do not lie down until after you have eaten some food.

In some patients, etidronate takes up to 3 months to work. If you feel that the medicine is not working, do not stop taking it on your own. Instead, check with your doctor.

It is important that you eat a well-balanced diet with an adequate amount of calcium and vitamin D (found in milk or other dairy products). Too much or too little of either may increase the chance of side effects while you are taking etidronate. Your doctor can help you choose the meal plan that is best for you. However, do not take any food, especially milk, milk formulas, or other dairy products, or antacids, mineral supplements, or other medicines that are high in calcium or iron (high amounts of these minerals may also be in some vitamin preparations), magnesium, or aluminum within 2 hours of taking etidronate. To do so may keep this medicine from working properly.

If this medicine upsets your stomach, ask your doctor if you can take two smaller doses instead of one larger dose. Do not change without talking to your doctor.

For treating Paget's disease, you may need to take this medicine for up to 6 months. Then after 90 days of not taking the medicine, your doctor may want you to start another course of treatment.

If you have Paget's disease, this medicine may work slowly, so you may not feel better until you have been using it for awhile. Do not stop taking it without talking to your doctor first. Your body may continue to respond to this medicine for several months after you stop using it.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For Paget's disease of bone:
      • Adults—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. At first, 5 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) (2.3 mg per pound) of body weight a day, usually as a single dose, for not more than 6 months. Some people may need 6 to 10 mg per kg (2.7 to 4.6 mg per pound) of body weight a day for not more than 6 months. Others may need 11 to 20 mg per kg (5 to 9.1 mg per pound) of body weight a day for not more than 3 months. Your doctor may adjust your dose depending on your response to treatment.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For treating or preventing a certain type of bone problem that may occur after hip replacement:
      • Adults—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The dose is usually 20 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) (9.1 mg per pound) of body weight a day for 1 month before surgery, and for 3 months after surgery.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For treating or preventing a certain type of bone problem that may occur after spinal injury:
      • Adults—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The dose is usually 20 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) (9.1 mg per pound) of body weight a day for 2 weeks, beginning as soon as possible after your injury. Your doctor may then decrease your dose to 10 mg per kg (4.5 mg per pound) of body weight for an additional 10 weeks.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For treating hypercalcemia (too much calcium in the blood):
      • Adults—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The dose is usually 20 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) (9.1 mg per pound) of body weight a day for 30 days. Treatment usually does not continue beyond 90 days.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.