PROJECT: 05-DJC:174.9

This is Deirdre's Breast Cancer Diary. I try to update this blog at least every evening. This is an easy way for me to keep a journal of the experience, and at the same time, I can keep my friends and family up-to-date on what is going on. I find it is not so bad to have cancer, but it is awfully depressing to talk about it. I hope you laugh as you read along. You can find the beginning in February ...in the archives. Thanks again for reading :o)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Aredia

Dr. Sherman is going to start me on Aredia on Friday morning. Aredia is a drug I will be getting through an IV to help strengthen my bones. It will take three hours to administer.
Aredia - Use and Side Effects Information

What is the medication Aredia used for? What are Aredia' side effects?

What happens with some types of cancer is that cells break away from the original tumor, travel through the bloodstream, and begin to grow somewhere else in the body. This process is called metastasis. In certain cancers such as breast, multiple myeloma, kidney or prostate cancers the bone is a common site for metastasis. The bone metastases secrete substances that can cause cells called osteoclasts to dissolve or "eat away" a portion of the bone. These lesions weaken the bone and can lead to complications. Some of the complications are bone pain, fractures, and less commonly, calcium levels in the blood can become dangerously high as a result of the bone breakdown.

Aredia is one medication that fits into the class of medications called biphosphonates. Biphosphonate medications are used to slow down the osteoclast's effects on the bone. In doing this it can be useful in slowing down or preventing the complications (bone pain, fractures, or high calcium levels) of the bone breakdown.

Biphosphonates may be given while a person is receiving other chemotherapy to treat cancer, or it may be given alone to treat high calcium levels, or bone pain.

Aredia side effects: Some of the more common side effects that have been reported in studies of patients taking Aredia were; fatigue, fever, nausea, vomiting, anemia and skeletal pain. However it is thought that some of these reported side effects of Aredia may be due to other treatments patients were on or the cancer itself. Sometimes patients reported muscle and joint pains within 1 to 3 days after the second or third treatment of Aredia. The doctor may recommend a mild pain reliever that may help prevent or relieve these symptoms. Aredia is cleared from the body through the kidneys. Even if a person's kidneys are not working properly, studies show that changes in the dosage of Aredia should not be necessary. However, Aredia has not been studied in many patients with severe kidney problems.

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