Bisphosphonates, pyrophosphate analogues, known as inhibitors of bone resorption, appear to cause analgesia in certain clinical painful situations. To detect clinically relevant analgesic property of etidronate, a non-aminobisphosphonate, we examined and characterized its antiallodynic effect in the rat with adjuvant-induced arthritis, in comparison with alendronate, an aminobisphosphonate, as determined by the von Frey test. Repeated systemic administration of etidronate at 10–40 mg/kg/day suppressed the adjuvant-induced mechanical allodynia in rat hindpaw, an effect reaching a plateau in approximately 10 days. Systemic or intraplantar (i.pl.) administration of ATP-sensitive K+ (K+ATP) channel inhibitors, glibenclamide and/or tolbutamide, completely reversed the antiallodynic effect of etidronate within 1 h in the arthritic rats, without affecting the nociceptive scores in naïve or arthritic animals that had not received etidronate. Alendronate, administered repeatedly, also revealed similar glibenclamide-reversible antiallodynic effect. In contrast, the antiallodynic effect of repeated systemic indomethacin was resistant to i.pl. glibenclamide in the arthritic rats. Repeated administration of etidronate or alendronate only slightly attenuated the adjuvant-evoked hindpaw edema. Among K+ATP channel subunits, mRNAs for Kir6.1, SUR1, SUR2A and SUR2B were abundant in rat dorsal root ganglia, while Kir6.2 mRNA was poor. Our data demonstrate that repeated etidronate as well as alendronate exhibits antiallodynic activity in arthritic rats, which might be clinically relevant, and suggest involvement of K+ATP channels in the underlying mechanisms.