Pamidronate treatment in rheumatology practice: a comprehensive review

Clin Rheumatol. 2009 Dec;28(12):1359-64. doi: 10.1007/s10067-009-1256-2. Epub 2009 Aug 19.


Pamidronate, along with other bisphosphonates, has been used for treatment of bone pain secondary to malignant involvement or metastatic disease for years. Some data, however, have also accumulated on the utility of pamidronate in a variety of benign conditions frequently handled by rheumatologists. This study aims to review the available published data regarding the potential use of pamidronate in rheumatology practice. Methods include the review of relevant articles retrieved by a PUBMED search utilizing the index term "pamidronate". All available randomized control trials, open trials, and case series, as well as properly reported case studies evaluating usage of pamidronate in rheumatic disorders, have been included in the literature review. The efficacy of pamidronate in patients with spondyloarthropathies; synovitis, acne, pustulosis, hyperostosis, and osteitis syndrome; hypertrophic osteoarthropathy; osteoporotic vertebral fractures; chronic back pain due to disk disease or spinal stenosis; Charcot arthropathy; transient osteoporosis; and complex regional pain syndrome-I, has been demonstrated in more than 40 reports, the majority of which, however, were not controlled studies. In some of reviewed conditions, aside from providing analgesic relief, pamidronate may also have disease-modifying properties. While used in different doses in a variety of rheumatic disorders, pamidronate was generally reported to be well tolerated with an overall good safety profile. Pamidronate may represent an effective and safe choice for a spectrum of rheumatic patients, suffering from intractable musculoskeletal pain, unresponsive to traditionally recommended therapies. Large randomized, controlled studies examining the efficacy of pamidronate in the rheumatic conditions are urgently needed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Diphosphonates / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Pamidronate
  • PubMed
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Rheumatic Diseases / complications
  • Rheumatic Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Rheumatic Diseases / physiopathology
  • Rheumatology / methods*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Diphosphonates
  • Pamidronate