Are bisphosphonates effective for treating 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 are effective in the treatment of malignancy-related hypercalcemia and hypercalcemia due to conditions causing increased bone resorption. Zoledronic acid is 100-850 times more potent than pamidronate and may be given as a bolus rather than an infusion. Clodronate (not available in the United States) can be given either intravenously or orally and may represent a better alternative in the future. The monoclonal antibody denosumab is approved for the treatment of hypercalcemia of malignancy that is refractory to bisphosphonate therapy.


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