Effectiveness of pretreatment in decreasing adverse events associated with pamidronate in children and adolescents

Pharmacotherapy. 2004 Feb;24(2):195-7. doi: 10.1592/phco.


Study objectives: To assess the effectiveness of pretreatment with ibuprofen or acetaminophen compared with no pretreatment in decreasing adverse events in children and adolescents receiving the first and second series of pamidronate therapy; and to compare the effectiveness of ibuprofen versus acetaminophen for prevention of adverse events associated with pamidronate infusion.

Design: Retrospective case review.

Setting: Children's hospital.

Patients: Twenty-seven children and adolescents aged 3-21 years receiving pamidronate therapy.

Measurements and main results: Data for patient demographics, medical history, genetic history of disease, pamidronate infusion dosage, and concurrent drug therapy were collected. Adverse drug events secondary to pamidronate infusion and subsequent drug therapies received were documented. Data were categorized by presence or absence of pretreatment and analyzed by cross-tabulation to determine whether the presence of adverse events differed between groups (no pretreatment, acetaminophen pretreatment, and ibuprofen pretreatment). Fewer adverse events were reported in patients receiving ibuprofen (17% of patients) versus acetaminophen (83%). Differences in presence of fever (chi2 = 10.5, p = 0.005) and bone pain (chi2 = 7.3, p = 0.027) among the three pretreatment groups were also statistically significant.

Conclusion: Pretreatment with ibuprofen or acetaminophen appears to decrease the occurrence of adverse events from pamidronate therapy. However, adverse events seem less likely to occur with ibuprofen. Further study is necessary to determine the relationship between occurrence of adverse events, other possible treatment strategies, and patient adherence with pamidronate therapy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Acetaminophen / adverse effects
  • Acetaminophen / pharmacology
  • Acetaminophen / therapeutic use
  • Adolescent*
  • Child*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diphosphonates / adverse effects*
  • Diphosphonates / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Diphosphonates / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Pediatric
  • Humans
  • Ibuprofen / adverse effects
  • Ibuprofen / pharmacology
  • Ibuprofen / therapeutic use
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta / drug therapy
  • Osteoporosis / drug therapy
  • Pamidronate
  • Premedication*
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Diphosphonates
  • Acetaminophen
  • Pamidronate
  • Ibuprofen