Zoledronic Acid

Adult Medication

Brand Names: US

Reclast; Zometa

Brand Names: Canada

Aclasta; Taro-Zoledronic Acid; Taro-Zoledronic Acid Concentrate; Zoledronic Acid Injection; Zoledronic Acid for Injection; Zoledronic Acid Z; Zometa Concentrate

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat high calcium levels.
  • It is used when treating some cancers.
  • It is used to treat Paget’s disease.
  • It is used to put off or treat soft, brittle bones (osteoporosis).
  • It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?

  • If you have an allergy to zoledronic acid or any other part of this drug.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have low calcium levels.
  • If you have kidney disease.
  • If you are taking or will be taking another drug like this one.
  • If you are taking another drug that has the same drug in it.
  • If you are pregnant or may be pregnant. Do not take this drug if you are pregnant.
  • If you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?

For all uses of this drug:

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Worsening of asthma has happened in people taking drugs like this one. Talk with the doctor.
  • This drug may raise the chance of a broken leg. Talk with the doctor.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • Have a bone density test as you have been told by your doctor. Talk with your doctor.
  • Take calcium and vitamin D as you were told by your doctor.
  • Have a dental exam before starting this drug.
  • Take good care of your teeth. See a dentist often.
  • Do not give to a child. Talk with your doctor.
  • If you are 65 or older, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Use birth control that you can trust to prevent pregnancy while taking this drug.
  • This drug may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant. If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking this drug, call your doctor right away.

Using this drug for bone health:

  • This drug works best when used with calcium/vitamin D and weight-bearing workouts like walking or PT (physical therapy).
  • Follow the diet and workout plan that your doctor told you about.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of low calcium levels like muscle cramps or spasms, numbness and tingling, or seizures.
  • Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
  • Very bad bone, joint, or muscle pain.
  • Any new or strange groin, hip, or thigh pain.
  • Chest pain.
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Fast or slow heartbeat.
  • Change in eyesight, eye pain, or very bad eye irritation.
  • Mouth sores.
  • Trouble swallowing.
  • Very bad pain when swallowing.
  • Fever or chills.
  • Sore throat.
  • Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Mood changes.
  • Pain where the shot was given.
  • Redness or swelling where the shot is given.
  • Weakness on 1 side of the body, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, or blurred eyesight.
  • This drug may cause jawbone problems. The chance may be higher the longer you take this drug. The chance may be higher if you have cancer, dental problems, dentures that do not fit well, anemia, blood clotting problems, or an infection. The chance may also be higher if you are having dental work, getting chemo or radiation, or taking other drugs that may cause jawbone problems like some steroid drugs. There are many drugs that can do this. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure. Call your doctor right away if you have jaw swelling or pain.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

For all uses of this drug:

  • Dizziness.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Irritation where the shot is given.
  • Feeling tired or weak.
  • Belly pain.
  • Headache.
  • Flu-like signs.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Muscle or joint pain.
  • Back pain.

Using this drug during cancer treatment:

  • Not able to sleep.
  • Not hungry.
  • Hard stools (constipation).
  • Weight loss.
  • Cough.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

For all uses of this drug:

  • It is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.
  • Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.

Using this drug for bone health:

  • Acetaminophen may be given to lower fever and chills.
  • Drink at least 2 glasses of liquids a few hours before you get this drug.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Call your doctor to find out what to do.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

  • If you need to store this drug at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.

General drug facts

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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