Zometa Osteoporosis information

Zometa Osteoporosis information about increasing bone density. Zometa is usually prescribed under either of two conditions.  First, it is an Osteoporosis drug that is usually  prescribed for persons whose bone loss is a result of cancer, that is  for persons who have bone metastases from cancer.. Second, this drug has also been been studied as a once-a-year treatment for women who develop Osteoporosis after menopause. Anyone who has been prescribed Zometa probably want to know more about the drug and this page aims to provide that information.

Zometa belongs to the class of drugs called bisphosphonates. Some other bisphosphates used to treat Osteoporosis are: Actonel, Boniva, Clodronate, Fosamax, Minodronate, Reclast (Aclasta) Zometa is known to prevent, delay and even treat complications – including pain and mobility problems from Osteoporosis. 

How does Zometa work? Like all the other bisphosphonate drugs Zometa works by binding to the mineral surface of your bone and interfering with the work of osteoclasts, the cells that remove 'old' bone. When old bone is not removed,  your bones register 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 have use prescription bisphosphonates for several years suddenly suffering fractures. Some specialists think these fractures happen because the bones of those who have been taking a bisphosphonate drug such as Zometa, have retained too much 'old bone'.           

Normally your body would remove such old bone if you were not taking a bisphosphonate drug. The continued presence of  'old bone' that your body would normally discard, means that your bone may not be as strong as regular, newer bone would be. So you if you taking this drug to increase bone density, you could suffer a fracture of one of your bones because although tests show you have greater bone density that density comes from the retention of  old bone that your body would normally discard.

 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 patients 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."

Some additional Zometa Osteoporosis information:                               

Questions people frequently ask:  

1. 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.

2. 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. Please be sure to talk with your health care provider if you have concerns.                                                                                 

Persons taking bisphosphonates such as Zometa who have 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 other  Osteopenia medications, (If you want to read about  other bisphosphonate drugs click on  Actonel , BonivaClondronate , Fosamax , Minodronate, or Reclast/Aclasta.

If you want information about  all Osteopenia Medications click on  Information about Osteopenia Medications

Have you taken Zometa? Want to share your experience?  If you have used Zometa and are willing to share your experience with others, please use the form below. (NOTE: Please include your name since do not publish anonymous posts. I usually do not publish contributions with links to other web sites but if you wish to include the url for a page, I will consider it.) Thank you for sharing your experience with Zometa with other readers.

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