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Didronel (Etidronate) is used to treat osteoporosis (thinning of bone) in women after menopause.

Drug Name

Didronel (Etidronate)

Drug Uses

Didronel is used to treat osteoporosis (thinning of bone) in women after menopause, even though this medication has not yet been approved by the FDA specifically for this purpose. After menopause, there is an increased rate of bone loss (resorption), and an increased risk of bone fractures. In these patients, didronel has been shown to increase bone density while strengthening bone, and decrease the rate of bone fractures. Didronel is also helpful in the treatment of Paget's disease of the bone. The cause of Paget's disease is unknown. It is characterized by a disorderly and accelerated remodeling of the bone, leading to bone weakness and pain. Didronel reduces bone pain and fractures in Paget's disease. Didronel is also used to prevent an unusual condition, called heterotopic ossification. In heterotopic ossification, bone is deposited in soft tissues and muscles, usually after hip replacement or spinal cord surgery.

How Taken

Since calcium riche foods such as dairy products, antacids, vitamins with mineral supplements, and certain medications can interfere with the absorption of didronel, the medication should be taken in an empty stomach, 2 hours before eating or taking other medications.

Drug Class and Mechanism

Didronel belongs to a class of medications that strengthen bone. Bone is in a constant state of remodeling in which old bone is removed by cells called osteoclasts, and new bone is laid down by cells called osteoblasts. Didronel inhibits bone removal by the osteoclasts.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine and you take 1 dose daily, take the missed dose if you remember the same day. If you do not remember until the next day, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.


Store at room temperature, sealed container, avoid moisture.