Health Guide

Etidronate (Injection)

Etidronate (e-ti-DROE-nate)

Treats high blood calcium levels (hypercalcemia) that sometimes occur in patients with cancer.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to etidronate, or if you have kidney disease.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.
  • This medicine is given over a period of two hours or longer. Your intravenous (IV) tube will need to remain in place for the entire time.
  • The treatment will be repeated for 3 or more days. Be sure to keep all scheduled appointments to receive the correct amount of this medicine.
  • After you receive the full IV treatment, your doctor may ask you to start using the tablet form of this medicine.

If a dose is missed:

  • Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Severe bone, joint, or muscle pain.
  • Skin rash, hives, or itching.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Changes in or loss of taste.
  • Metallic taste in the mouth.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 6/12/2013
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