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Pamidronate is used to treat excess amounts of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia) caused by certain types of cancers. It is also used to treat excess of bone thinning caused by some medications or in elderly people, bone pain and Paget’s disease (excessive breakdown and abnormal formation of deformed bones).

How it works

Pamidronate belongs to a category of drugs called as bisphosphonates that decrease the amount of calcium released by the bones into the blood, thus inhibiting the breakdown of bones and preserving bone thickness and density.

Common side effects

Nausea, Abdominal pain, Anemia, Joint pain, Atrial fibrillation, Conjunctivitis, Constipation, Convulsion, Diarrhoea, Dizziness, Gastritis, Headache, Increased blood pressure, Decreased calcium level in blood, Decreased potassium level in blood, Decreased magnesium level in blood, Decreased phosphate level in blood, Insomnia, Loss of appetite, Decreased white blood cell count (lymphocytes), Rash, Reduced blood platelets, Sleeping for unusually long periods, Vomiting, Weakness, Fatigue, Fever, Decreased white blood cell count, Increased creatinine level in blood


Expert advice

  • Consult your doctor if you have any of the following medical conditions: heart problems, liver/kidney/thyroid disorders; low levels of platelets and red blood cells; calcium or vitamin D deficiency; teeth or jaw problems or flu like conditions.
  • Consult your doctor if you are taking medicines such as calcitonin, thalidomide, other bisphosphonate drugs, or medicines used to treat kidney problems.
  • Keep yourself hydrated while being treated with pamidronate.
  • Be careful with your dental hygiene; avoid dental extraction or other invasive dental procedures while on pamidronate therapy.
  • Pamidronate may cause bone loss in the jaw (osteonecrosis of the jaw leading to jaw pain, swelling, numbness, loose teeth, gum infection, or slow healing after injury or surgery involving the gums). Stop using the medicine if you develop any such reaction.
  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery as you can feel dizzy after taking this drug.

Frequently asked questions


Q. How does pamidronate work?
Pamidronate works by decreasing the level of calcium released into the blood by bones, thereby preventing calcium excess in the body.
Q. Is pamidronate safe?
Yes. Pamidronate is safe if used at prescribed doses for the prescribed duration as advised by your doctor. In case of any side-effects, please consult your doctor.

Content on this page was last updated on 03 October, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)