Adult Medication

Brand Names: US

Didronel [DSC]

Brand Names: Canada

ACT Etidronate; Mylan-Etidronate

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat Paget’s disease.
  • It is used to treat or prevent bone growth that is not normal from hip surgery or spine injury.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?

  • If you have an allergy to etidronate or any other part of this drug.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have any of these health problems: A swallowing tube (esophagus) that is not normal, low calcium levels, soft bones (osteomalacia), or trouble swallowing.
  • If you are not able to stand or sit up for 30 minutes.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Very bad swallowing tube (esophagus) problems like irritation, swelling, ulcers, and bleeding have happened with this drug. Talk with the doctor.
  • Worsening of asthma has happened in people taking drugs like this one. Talk with the doctor.
  • This drug may raise the chance of a broken leg. Talk with the doctor.
  • Have a bone density test as you have been told by your doctor. Talk with your doctor.
  • This drug works best when used with calcium/vitamin D and weight-bearing workouts like walking or PT (physical therapy).
  • Follow the diet and workout plan that your doctor told you about.
  • Have a dental exam before starting this drug.
  • Take good care of your teeth. See a dentist often.
  • Talk with your doctor before you drink alcohol.
  • If you smoke, talk with your doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Black, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Chest pain.
  • Feeling confused.
  • Fever or chills.
  • Sore throat.
  • Throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds.
  • Very bad belly pain.
  • Heartburn.
  • Trouble swallowing.
  • Very bad pain when swallowing.
  • Very bad bone, joint, or muscle pain.
  • Any new or strange groin, hip, or thigh pain.
  • Mood changes.
  • Low mood (depression).
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there).
  • Mouth sores.
  • This drug may cause jawbone problems. The chance may be higher the longer you take this drug. The chance may be higher if you have cancer, dental problems, dentures that do not fit well, anemia, blood clotting problems, or an infection. The chance may also be higher if you are having dental work, getting chemo or radiation, or taking other drugs that may cause jawbone problems like some steroid drugs. There are many drugs that can do this. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure. Call your doctor right away if you have jaw swelling or pain.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
  • Upset stomach.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
  • Take on an empty stomach. Take 2 hours before or 2 hours after meals.
  • Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
  • Take with a full glass of water.
  • Take with plain water only. Avoid taking with mineral water, milk, or other drinks.
  • Do not take calcium, iron, vitamins with minerals, or antacids within 2 hours of this drug.
  • Do not lie down for at least 30 minutes after taking this drug.
  • Keep taking this drug as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

General drug facts

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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