Brand Names

Aredia® (There may be other brand names for this medication.)

How is it Administered?

Your medicine may be given by injection into a vein (intravenous (IV) slowly, over 2-24 hours. It may be given: once every 3-4 weeks, once a day for 3 days straight; or once every week. The treatment schedule depends on your condition.

What is it Used For?

This drug is used to treat cancer-related hypercalcemia (too much calcium in the blood), Paget's disease, and complications caused by breast cancer or multiple myeloma spreading to the bones.

How Does it Work?

There are two kinds of bone cells – osteoblasts that create bone and osteoclasts that break down bone. Generally the creation and destruction of bone is generally kept balanced, though we do tend to lose bone mass as we age.

Some cancers cause the osteoclasts to speed up their destruction of bone. In addition to bone weakness, which increases the risk of a fracture, this can also cause pain and excess calcium to be released into the blood (hypercalcemia). High levels of calcium can affect your heart rate, among other bodily functions.

Pamidronate is a bisphosphonate; these drugs slow down the osteoclasts and may help prevent these complications.

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