Intravenous pamidronate for treatment of reflex sympathetic dystrophy during breast feeding

J Bone Miner Res. 2000 Oct;15(10):2052-5. doi: 10.1359/jbmr.2000.15.10.2052.


A 39-year-old woman presented in the first month of pregnancy with reflex sympathetic dystrophy involving both lower legs. Symptoms became so severe that she could not walk unassisted, and the pain worsened after delivery. Radiographs showed patchy reduction in apparent density in the tarsal bones and around the ankles and knees. Uptake was increased in these areas on technetium methylene diphosphonate bone scan. Bone density (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) was reduced in the spine, hip, and radius. Biochemical tests were normal except for an increase in urinary excretion of the N-telopeptide cross-linking region of type I collagen (NTx). Because the patient wanted to continue breast-feeding, intravenous pamidronate was administered at monthly intervals. Breast milk was collected for 48 h after the infusion. The pain began to decrease soon after drug administration was initiated, and it was virtually gone by 6 months. NTx excretion fell by 78% and bone density increased by as much as 18.9% over the 6-month treatment interval. The baby was healthy and grew normally. Milk expressed after the first treatment was assayed for pamidronate content by high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection. None was detected (limit of quantitation, 0.4 micromol/liter). This case shows that pamidronate may be considered for treatment of lactating women.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Bone Density / drug effects
  • Breast Feeding*
  • Diphosphonates / administration & dosage*
  • Diphosphonates / analysis
  • Diphosphonates / pharmacology
  • Diphosphonates / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Milk, Human / chemistry
  • Pamidronate
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / physiopathology
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy / diagnostic imaging
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy / drug therapy*
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy / physiopathology
  • Technetium


  • Diphosphonates
  • Technetium
  • Pamidronate