Zometa Osteoporosis information

Zometa Osteoporosis information. Zometa is the marketing name of zoledronic acid, a drug prescribed for persons who have  bone loss as a result of cancer. The drug was approved for those who have bone metastases from cancer.   Zometa has also been been studied as a once-a-year treatment for women who develop Osteoporosis after menopause. That is the reason it is included on this web site.

Zometa can prevent, delay and even treat complications – including pain and mobility problems.  This drug belongs to the class of drugs called bisphosphonates. Actonel, Boniva, Clodronate, Fosamax, Minodronate ,Reclast (Aclasta) are some other bisphosphonate drugs used to treat Osteoporosis.                                                   (If you want to read about these other bisphosphonates just click on the link to each drug: Actonel ,BonivaClondronate , Fosamax ,MinodronateReclast/Aclasta.

How does Zometa work? Like all bisphosphonate drugs Zometa works by binding to the mineral surface of your bone and interfering with the work of osteoclasts, the bone cells that remove 'old' bone. When old bone is not removed,  your bones show up as more dense on any bone density test. 

Potential problems with Zometa and other bisphosphonate drugs: You have probably read or seen news reports about some patients who use prescription bisphosophonates for several years suffering sudden fractures. There are those who think these fractures happen because the bones of those who have been taking drugs such as Zometa, have retained too much 'old bone'.... old bone the body would normally remove if the person was not taking a bisphosphonate drug. The presence of this 'old bone that their bodies would normally discard, means that their bones are not as strong as regular bone would be. 

 More Zometa Osteoporosis Information - who makes this drug?

Novartis, one of the world's largest drug companies manufactures Zometa.   Novartis says of its use by cancer patienrs that Zometa is the only bisphosphonate "effective and approved in preventing SREs in multiple tumor types, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, multiple myeloma and other solid tumor types."

More Zometa Osteoporosis information: Questions people frequently ask:  

How is this drug taken? Zometa is administered intravenously at your physicians office. Infusions usually take 15 minutes so your treatment does not involve any long or complicated visit.

Are there potential side effects? Yes, there can be side effects and these are just like the side effects of the other bisphosphonates:                                                    A. Some people experience a rise in body temperature or they get flu-like symptoms (fever, fatigue, chills, and bone, joint, and/or muscle pain; headache) when they take this drug.                                                                           

B.There is also the possibility of  an elevation of your serum creatinine levels or there can be renal (kidney) impairment or renal failure.   

C. Anemia and conjunctivitis have also been reported as side effects. 

D. The most frequent negative reaction when taking this drug is a reduction in renal calcium excretion and this can be accompanied by a fall in serum phosphate levels (hypophosphataemia). Serum calcium may fall to asymptomatic hypocalcaemia levels.                                                       

E. Also, there are occasional hypersensitivity reactions such as: “hypertension, shortness of breath, dizziness, sleeping disturbances gastrointestinal reactions, such as nausea and vomiting or diarrhea; loss of appetite; local reactions at the infusion site such as redness or swelling; some cases of rash and pruritus.“ (cited by Novartis).                                                                                                                 If any of this concerns you, do speak with your health care provider about your concerns before you get your first infusion.  (It could be that you will not have any of these negative side effects but I list them so you can be aware that if any of them happen, you should call your health care provider.. In fact the most patients are advised to call their doctors if they experience anything new or different after beginning this drug.)                                                                                           

 Is there anyone who should NOT take this drug?Anyone who is pregnant or breast feeding should not use this drug. Also if you have a sensitivity to any of the bisphosphonates you should not use this medication. Talk with your health care provider if you have concerns.                                                                                 

Finally since this drug is a bisphosphonate and persons taking bisphosphonates who get dental work done have sometimes experienced Osteonecrosis of the jaw. If you are taking Zometa or any other bisphosphonate, be sure to let your dentist know before you have any dental work done..                                                                   .

Is there anything I should discuss with my doctor before taking this drug? Yes. Be sure to list all the prescription drugs and give that list to your doctor before you take this drug. Also give your doctor  a list all the ‘over the counter’ non-prescription drugs you use – including pain medications, vitamins and other supplements. This is important since your doctor many need to adjust your dosage depending on what else you are taking.                                                                                                                                                                                               If after you start treatment with Zometa and you want to use a new over the counter medication or supplement, do check with your pharmacist first.. Ask if there would be any problem using the new product since you are taking Zometa (zoledronic acid ). Your pharmacist should be able to give you  advice.  

Source: Novartis, the company that makes this drug. I know that some  like to read the scientific studies. One  study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Finally, the  maker of this drug offers a page of useful information about the drug and its place in CANCER treatments. You can read that here: Zometa Osteoporosis information for those with cancer   

End of information: Zometa Osteoporosis information. 

Special update about Zometa Osteoporosis information. In recent years there have been reports of serious side effects (and some lawsuits) from patients who used bisphonsphante drugs long term. Do discuss possible 'osteonecrosis' with your physician if you are considering this drug as an Osteoporosis treatment.

Special note: Zometa is only one Osteoporosis medication. To read about ALL the Osteopenia medications,  go to Information about Osteopenia Medications

Share your experience.  If you have used Zometa for Osteoporosis or Osteopenia and want to share your experience with others, please us the form below. (NOTE: I do not publish anonymous posts or posts with links.)  Thank you for sharing.

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1. My experience with Zometa

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My experience with Zometa 
I got a standard dose of Zometa in 9/2017. The flu-like symptoms where fairly severe and lasted about 5 days. I just had my annual bone density test in …

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