Zoledronic acid

Information about Zoledronic acid

Zoledronic acid Uses

Zoledronic acid is used in the treatment of osteoporosis. It treats osteoporosis in postmenopausal women and men at high risk of fractures.

How Zoledronic acid works

Zoledronic acid is a bisphosphonate. It works by suppressing the activity of osteoclasts, cells that cause destruction of bone. This strengthens the bones and minimizes the risk of fractures.

Common side effects of Zoledronic acid

Headache, Diarrhea, Joint pain, Muscle pain, Vomiting, Nausea, Flu-like symptoms, Bone pain, Hypotension (low blood pressure)
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Reviewed By
MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
Last updated
03 Jun 2020 | 06:53 AM (UTC)

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Expert advice for Zoledronic acid

  • Your doctor has prescribed Zoledronic acid to make your bones stronger and lower the risk of fractures.
  • Take it in the morning at least 30 minutes before eating or drinking anything.
  • It may cause the amount of calcium in your blood to fall. Take calcium-rich food in your diet and have regular blood tests to monitor the level of calcium in your blood.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration and kidney damage.
  • You may develop fever or flu like symptoms, such as chills, tiredness and weakness. These are usually temporary and should go away after a few days. You may take a pain reliever/fever reducer to prevent or treat these symptoms.
  • It may cause a rare condition called osteonecrosis of the jaw. Have regular dental check-ups and inform your doctor if you develop sudden pain in your jaw.
  • Your doctor will monitor your response to Zoledronic acid by testing your bone mineral density (BMD). This is usually done every 1-3 years.
  • Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions for Zoledronic acid

Zoledronic acid

Q. What is Zoledronic acid? What is it used for?

Zoledronic acid belongs to a class of medicines called bisphosphonates that prevents abnormal breakdown of the bones. Zoledronic acid is used to prevent and treat osteoporosis and fractures in people with metastatic cancer (a cancer which spreads to newer areas of the body). It may also be used to treat hypercalcemia (elevated blood calcium levels).

Q. How does Zoledronic acid work?

Zoledronic acid works by increasing the density of the bones which helps in preventing osteoporosis. In addition to that, it helps to treat high calcium levels in the blood caused due to secondary bone cancer. Also, it is helpful in treating metastasis of bone which is caused due to breast cancer.

Q. How long should I take Zoledronic acid?

Zoledronic acid should be taken in the dose and duration advised by your doctor. The medicine takes around 6 month to show its maximum benefits on bones. However, in some cases, the doctor may suggest Zoledronic acid for a longer duration. The exact duration will depend on the condition you are being treated for.

Q. How is Zoledronic acid administered?

Zoledronic acid should be administered by a trained healthcare professional or a doctor only and should not be self-administered. The dose will depend on the condition you are being treated for and will be decided by your doctor. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully to get maximum benefit from Zoledronic acid.

Q. Why can you not lie down after taking Zoledronic acid?

One should not lie down after taking Zoledronic acid as there is a possibility that the medication might come back up into the esophagus (food pipe). Due to this the esophagus may also get damaged. Staying upright will help the medicine to settle down quickly in your stomach and prevent side effects like heartburn and pain.

Q. Is Zoledronic acid safe?

Zoledronic acid is safe if used in the dose and duration advised by your doctor. Take it exactly as directed and do not skip any dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully and let your doctor know if any of the side effects bother you.

Q. What other lifestyle changes should I make?

To get maximum benefit from Zoledronic acid, there are certain lifestyle changes that you must adhere to. Include some calcium or Vitamin D rich foods for bone strength. Try to spend more time in sunlight to get natural vitamin D. Quit smoking and reduce alcohol consumption as they may harm your bones. You can take up an exercise regime such as walking and low-impact aerobics as they are good for your bones. Similarly, you can try strength-training exercises where you use your own body weight which in turn improve bone health.


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