Sodium etidronate is the Sodium salt of Etidronic acid.
It is used as a chelating agent which binds to Hard water metal ions and ‘softens’ the water. It is also used in medicine to strengthen bone and treat osteoporosis.
- Etidronic acid is a bisphosphonate used to strengthen bone, treat osteoporosis, and treat Paget’s disease of bone.
Bisphosphonates primarily reduce osteoclastic activity, which prevents bone resorption, and thus moves the bone resorption/formation equilibrium toward the formation side and hence makes bone stronger on the long run.
- Etidronate, unlike other bisphosphonates, also prevents bone calcification. For this reason, other bisphosphonates, like alendronate, are preferred when fighting osteoporosis. To prevent bone resorption without affecting too much bone calcification, etidronate must be administered only for a short time once in a while, for example for two weeks every 3 months. When given on a continuous basis, say every day, etidronate will altogether prevent bone calcification.
- This effect may be useful and etidronate is in fact used this way to fight heterotopic ossification. But in the long run, if used on a continuous basis, it will cause osteomalacia.
Stomach upset or diarrhea may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Source: Ecostore, http://www.ecostore.co.nz/ingredients/sodium-etidronate