Etidronate Disodium is used to treat Paget's disease (a painful bone condition which can cause abnormal bone growth and deformity) by helping regulate the growth of bone in patients with this disease. It is also used to prevent abnormal formation of bone tissue after hip replacement surgery or after a spinal cord injury.
Etidronate Disodium, when given together with calcium supplements, can also be used to strengthen thin and weak bones in people who have or are at risk of osteoporosis.
Take Etidronate Disodium exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Take this medicine first thing in the morning, upon arising for the day. Take it with a full glass of plain water on an empty stomach, at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after food or milk products. Swallow whole, do not suck, chew or crush it.
To prevent irritating the throat, take it in a sitting or standing position. Do not take at bedtime or while lying down and do not lie down after swallowing it.
It is important to follow these instructions carefully. Etidronate Disodium may cause severe irritation to the gullet (food pipe) and stomach if not taken properly. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Etidronate Disodium must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking Etidronate Disodium even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by your doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have other bone illnesses such as osteomalacia (soft bones) and abnormalities in your throat as Etidronate Disodium may not be suitable for you.
Inform your doctor if you have:
- kidney disease
- kidney stones
- stomach ulcers or gastric problems
- difficulty swallowing
- diseases of the gullet (food pipe)
- bowel inflammation or bowel problems such as enterocolitis (inflammation of the large and small intestines)
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Also let your doctor know if you have any fractures that have not completely healed.
If you are going for an operation, including minor operations and dental work, always inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking Etidronate Disodium.
This medicine may cause your jaw bones to weaken. You may experience dental problems such as jaw swelling and pain, loose or shaky teeth. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene while being treated with this medicine. Your doctor may recommend that you have a dental check-up before starting you on this medicine. Inform your doctor and dentist if you:
- develop a tooth infection
- develop pain, numbness or discomfort in your teeth or gums
- have a tooth extraction
You will need to have regular blood and urine tests to check your calcium levels and kidney function. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
Ensure that you take enough calcium and vitamin D while being treated with Etidronate Disodium. Your doctor will advise you about how much of these supplements to take.
Etidronate Disodium may cause any of the following side effects: joint or muscle pain, hair loss, rashes, headache, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, bloating and diarrhoea.
Let your doctor know if you:
- experience confusion and hallucinations (seeing, hearing or feeling things that are not existent)
- have rashes with skin peeling or blisters
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking warfarin (blood-thinning medicine).
You should wait for at least 2 hours after taking Etidronate Disodium before taking any other medicines or supplements e.g. antacids, calcium supplements.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicine, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.