Disodium etidronate helps relieve bone pain associated with Paget's disease. It belongs to a class of medicines known as bisphosphonates.
Do not eat food or drink milk during the two hours before or the two hours after taking your doses.
Do not take preparations containing iron, mineral supplements, laxatives or indigestion remedies within two hours (before or after) taking disodium etidronate tablets.
Good dental hygiene is particularly important while you are taking these tablets - this means that you must brush your teeth regularly and have routine dental check-ups.
About disodium etidronate
|Type of medicine||Bisphosphonate|
|Used for||Paget's disease of bone|
Paget's disease affects the structure of bone. Bones affected by the disease are weaker than normal, and may become deformed and may fracture (break) more easily than normal. For many people, Paget's disease causes no symptoms and does not need treatment. In the people who do develop symptoms, the most common effect is pain in the affected bone. Typically, this is a deep-seated ache which may become worse at night-time. Treatment with a bisphosphonate medicine such as disodium etidronate helps to ease the pain caused.
Before taking disodium etidronate
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking disodium etidronate it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have kidney problems.
- If you are due to have any dental treatment in the near future.
- If you have recently had a broken bone which may not have completely healed.
- If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
How to take disodium etidronate
- Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about disodium etidronate and a full list of side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
- Take the tablets exactly as your doctor tells you to. Disodium etidronate is usually taken once a day. Your doctor will tell you how many tablets to take for each dose, and this should also be printed on the label of the pack to remind you. It is recommended that you swallow the tablets with a drink of water. Take disodium etidronate 'on an empty stomach' - this means that you should take the tablets about two hours before a meal, or wait until two hours afterwards. Also, do not drink milk for two hours before or after taking the tablets. This is because calcium in the milk can prevent disodium etidronate from being absorbed properly.
- Try to take your doses at the same time of day each day, as this will help you to remember to take them.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress. Your doctor may want you to have some blood tests both before and during this treatment.
- If you are having any dental treatment, tell your dentist that you are taking a bisphosphonate, as some dental treatments may not be recommended for you while you are taking disodium etidronate.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with disodium etidronate tablets. This is because some mineral supplements, iron preparations, and some laxative and indigestion remedies, reduce the amount of disodium etidronate which your body absorbs. This may make it less effective.
- Treatment with disodium etidronate usually lasts several weeks or months. Continue to take the tablets unless you are advised otherwise by your doctor.
Can disodium etidronate cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common disodium etidronate side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Diarrhoea||Drink plenty of water|
|Feeling sick, abdominal pain||Stick to simple foods - avoid rich or spicy meals|
|Less common side-effects||What can I do if I experience this?|
|New or worse bone pain, bone fractures||If this happens, tell your doctor as your treatment may need to be interrupted|
|Rare, but possibly serious side-effects||What can I do if I experience this?|
|A severe itchy skin rash||Speak with your doctor straightaway - this may be a sign of an allergic reaction|
|Pain in your thigh, hip, or groin, after taking disodium etidronate over a number of years||Speak with your doctor as soon as possible - these may be signs of a thigh bone fracture|
|A loose tooth, or jaw pain with swelling or numbness||Speak with your doctor as soon as possible - these may be signs of a problem called osteonecrosis of the jaw|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store disodium etidronate
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital at once. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading & references
- Manufacturer's PIL, Didronel® 200 mg Tablets; Warner Chilcott UK Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated October 2011.
- British National Formulary; 64th Edition (Sep 2012) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London (links to current BNF)
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Prof Cathy Jackson|
|Last Checked: 17/01/2013||Document ID: 3348 Version: 25||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.