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The main features of Paget's disease are described, together with the indications for medical treatment. A brief summary is given of the drugs available for treatment of Paget's disease with particular emphasis on sodium etidronate (EHDP, ethylidene-1-hydroxy-1, 1-diphosphonate). Sodium etidronate, given at doses between 5 and 20 mg per kilogram per day for 3-6 months, causes a progressive reduction in the biochemical abnormalities (raised plasma alkaline phosphatase and urinary hydroxyproline) and in the histological abnormalities of bone. Clinical symptoms also improve. The usual dose is 5 mg per kilogram body weight per day to be given for not longer than 6 months. Higher doses (10 and 20 mg per kilogram per day) may cause impairment of normal bone mineralisation and should be given for short periods only (1-3 months). Sodium etidronate also has a limited place in the treatment of certain disorders of ectopic calcification, notably heterotopic ossification after spinal cord injury or hip surgery. At the present time there is insufficient evidence to justify its use in the treatment of renal stones or in osteoporosis other than that due to immobilisation after spinal cord injury.

Original publication




Journal article


Metab bone dis relat res

Publication Date





219 - 230


Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal, Calcitonin, Diphosphonates, Etidronic Acid, Humans, Osteitis Deformans, Plicamycin