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What Is Pamidronate Used For?

Pamidronate for Treating High Calcium

High blood calcium is a common complication of cancer. This is known medically as hypercalcemia of malignancy. Calcium is a very important mineral and is important for muscle and heart function. High blood calcium can cause the following symptoms:
 
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle pain or weakness
  • Increased urination
  • Headaches
  • Changes in the heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
  • Coma.
     
Hypercalcemia of malignancy can occur due to various causes, one of which is bone breakdown. Pamidronate is approved to treat hypercalcemia of malignancy, and should be used after vigorous rehydration. This typically requires the administration of IV fluids.
 

How Does Pamidronate Work?

Pamidronate belongs to a group of medications known as bisphosphonates. Bisphosphonates are most commonly used to treat osteoporosis, but some can be used to treat other conditions. Pamidronate works to prevent or delay broken bones (fractures) or other bone damage by slowing the destruction that occurs with Paget's disease and cancer and by fighting the abnormal cells that cause bone to wear away.
 
When cancer causes bone destruction, large amounts of calcium are released into the bloodstream, leading to high calcium levels (hypercalcemia). This can be very dangerous. By slowing down the breakdown of bone, pamidronate helps to treat high calcium levels caused by cancer.
 

Pamidronate Uses in Children

Pamidronate is not approved for use in children. Talk to your healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using the drug in children.
 
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