Generic Name: Etidronate disodium

  • What is Didronel?

    Didronel tablets are prescribed for the treatment of Paget's bone disease, which causes pain, bone fractures, and problems in the circulatory and nervous systems. Didronel can decrease pain, increase your ability to move, and slow the progression of the disease.

    Didronel is also prescribed following hip replacement and spinal cord injury to prevent abnormal bone formation and inflammation.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Didronel?

    If you have Paget's disease, taking more of the drug than was prescribed, or taking it continuously for more than 6 months, may lead to softening of your bones, an increased risk of fracture, and kidney problems.

    Arthritis of the joints (primarily in the jaw) has been reported in patients taking Didronel. If you experience jaw pain, contact your doctor or dentist.

    You must maintain good nutrition while taking Didronel. In particular, make sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D.

  • Who should not take Didronel?

    Do not use Didronel if you have ever had an allergic reaction to it or its components, or if you have a condition of softening of the bones, called osteomalacia.
  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Didronel?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medication you are taking before beginning treatment with this drug. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have intestinal inflammation, since Didronel may cause diarrhea.
  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Paget's Disease

    Adults: The usual daily dose is 5 to 10 milligrams (mg) per 2.2 pounds of body weight for no more than 6 months. Your doctor will individualize the dose to your needs, probably starting with 5 mg per 2.2 pounds. In some special cases, your doctor may prescribe 11 to 20 mg per 2.2 pounds daily for no more than 3 months. You should not take daily doses of more than 20 mg per 2.2 pounds. After your course of therapy is complete, your doctor may prescribe another course with Didronel after at least 3 months of being off treatment.

    Hip Replacement

    Adults: The usual daily dose is 20 mg per 2.2 pounds of body weight for 1 month before and 3 months after surgery.

    Spinal Cord Injury

    Adults: The usual daily dose is 20 mg per 2.2 pounds of body weight for 2 weeks, followed by 10 mg per 2.2 pounds for 10 weeks.

  • How should I take Didronel?

    Use Didronel exactly as directed. Take the Didronel as a single daily dose unless that causes stomach upset. In that case, your doctor will divide the prescribed amount into 2 doses taken during the day. To maximize absorption of Didronel, avoid eating within 2 hours of taking the tablets.

    If you develop bone, joint, and/or muscle pain while taking Didronel, talk to your doctor. Most pain stops when the drug is discontinued, but don't stop taking it without consulting your doctor first.

  • What should I avoid while taking Didronel?

    You should avoid eating food within two hours of taking Didronel, especially foods that contain large amounts of calcium such as milk and milk products. Also, avoid taking vitamins and mineral supplements or antacids which contain calcium, iron, magnesium, or aluminum within two hours of taking Didronel.
  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Didronel?

    Food interferes with the absorption of Didronel. In particular, avoid these foods and medicines within 2 hours of taking the drug: foods high in calcium, such as milk, cheese, and other milk products; vitamin/mineral supplements; antacids high in calcium, iron, magnesium, or aluminum; warfarin, a blood-thinning drug.
  • What are the possible side effects of Didronel?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue using Didronel.

    Side effects may include: diarrhea, increased bone pain, nausea, pain at previously pain-free sites

  • Can I receive Didronel if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Didronel during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, notify your doctor immediately. Didronel may affect skeletal development of the fetus, although the risk is not clear. This drug appears in breast milk. Consult your doctor if you plan on breastfeeding.
  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Didronel?

    If you miss a dose of this drug, take it as soon as you remember, however, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip it and take it at the prescribed time. Do not double your dose to make up for missed doses.
  • How should I store Didronel?

    Store at room temperature and avoid excessive heat.