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Side Effects of Etidronate

Common Side Effects of Etidronate

Etidronate has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials, in which a group of people taking the drug have side effects documented and compared to another group not taking the medicine. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine.
 
In these studies, the most common side effects of etidronate included:
 
Other etidronate side effects that were not seen in clinical studies (but have been reported by healthcare providers since etidronate was approved) include:
 
  • Hair loss (see Didronel and Hair Loss)
  • Joint problems, including arthritis
  • Broken bones
  • Esophagus irritation
  • Tongue
  • Memory loss (amnesia)
  • Confusion
  • Unusual sensations, such as burning or tingling.
     

How to Minimize Etidronate Side Effects on the Esophagus

In order to reduce the chance of developing serious esophageal side effects, you should follow the prescribed directions on how to take etidronate. For example:
 
  • Etidronate should be taken on an empty stomach and with a full glass of water first thing in the morning.
     
  • Swallow the tablet whole. Do not suck or chew on the etidronate tablet.
     
  • Remain in an upright position (sitting up or standing) for 30 minutes after taking etidronate.
     
  • For at least two hours before and after taking etidronate, it is important to:

 

    • Wait to eat or drink. This includes mineral water, sparkling water, coffee, tea, milk, or juice. Plain water is okay.
    • Avoid taking any other oral medicine, including calcium supplements.

 

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