What is the role of bisphosphonates in the treatment of hypercalcemia?

Updated: Oct 03, 2018
  • Author: Mahendra Agraharkar, MD, MBBS, FACP, FASN; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Answer

Bisphosphonates inhibit osteoclastic bone resorption and are effective in the treatment of hypercalcemia due to conditions causing increased bone resorption and malignancy-related hypercalcemia. Pamidronate and etidronate can be given intravenously, while risedronate and alendronate may be effective as oral therapy. Calcitonin can be given intramuscularly or subcutaneously, but it becomes less effective after several days of use. Mithramycin blocks osteoclastic function and can be given for severe malignancy-related hypercalcemia. It has significant hepatic, renal, and marrow toxicity.


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