Brand name: Aredia
Chemical name: Pamidronate
Class: Bisphosphonate. Zometa is another bisphosphonate.
How it works: Bisphosphonates limit the activity of certain bone cells, called osteoclasts, which help cause the bone weakening and damage that can happen when breast cancer spreads to the bone. Bisphosphonates also can help keep blood calcium levels normal. This is important because bone damage may increase blood calcium.
Uses: Aredia is used to reduce bone complications and bone pain caused by advanced-stage breast cancer that has spread to the bone. It's usually given with chemotherapy medicines.
How it's given: Aredia is given intravenously.
- bone pain at the start of treatment
- loss of appetite
- osteonecrosis of the jaw (loss of bone in the jaw)