Generic Name: zoledronic acid (zole DRO nik AS sid)
Brand Names: Reclast, Zometa

What is Zometa?

Zometa (zoledronic acid - sometimes called zoledronate) is in a group of medicines called bisphosphonates (bis FOS fo nayts). Zoledronic acid inhibits the release of calcium from bones.

Zometa is used to treat high blood levels of calcium caused by cancer (hypercalcemia of malignancy). Zometa also treats multiple myeloma (a type of bone marrow cancer) or bone cancer that has spread from elsewhere in the body.

Zometa may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

Zometa can harm your kidneys. This effect is increased when you also use other medicines harmful to the kidneys, such as: chemotherapy, antiviral medication, pain or arthritis medicine, injected antibiotics, or medicines to treat a bowel disorder or prevent organ transplant rejection. You may need dose adjustments or special tests if you use any of these medications. Do not receive Zometa without telling your doctor if you have had an allergic reaction to Zometa or similar medicine such as alendronate (Fosamax), etidronate (Didronel), ibandronate (Boniva), pamidronate (Aredia), risedronate (Actonel), or tiludronate (Skelid).

Slideshow: Upcoming First Time Generic Approvals in 2013

Do not use Zometa if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.

Your doctor may recommend you have a dental exam for preventive tooth and gum care before you start your treatment with Zometa. This is especially important if you have cancer, if you are undergoing chemotherapy or using steroids, or if you have poor dental health.

Some people using medicines similar to Zometa have developed bone loss in the jaw, also called osteonecrosis of the jaw. Symptoms of this condition may include jaw pain, swelling, numbness, loose teeth, gum infection, or slow healing after injury or surgery involving the gums. You may be more likely to develop osteonecrosis of the jaw if you have cancer or have been treated with chemotherapy, radiation, or steroids. Other conditions associated with osteonecrosis of the jaw include blood clotting disorders, anemia (low red blood cells), and pre-existing dental problems.

Avoid having any type of dental surgery while you are being treated with Zometa. It may take longer than normal for you to recover.

Before receiving Zometa

You should not receive Zometa if you are allergic to zoledronic acid or similar medicine such as alendronate (Fosamax), etidronate (Didronel), ibandronate (Boniva), pamidronate (Aredia), risedronate (Actonel), or tiludronate (Skelid).

You should also not receive Zometa if you have:

  • low levels of calcium in your blood; or

  • if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Zometa and Reclast are two different brands of zoledronic acid. You should not be treated with Zometa if you are already receiving Reclast. Before receiving a Zometa injection, tell your doctor if you are already being treated with Reclast.

Do not use Zometa if you have severe kidney disease.

To make sure you can safely use Zometa, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • aspirin-sensitive asthma;

  • a thyroid or parathyroid disorder;

  • malabsorption syndrome (an inability to absorb food and nutrients properly);

  • a history of surgical removal of part of your intestine;

  • bone cancer;

  • kidney disease; or

  • if you are dehydrated.

Your doctor may recommend you have a dental exam for preventive tooth and gum care before you start your treatment with Zometa. This is especially important if you have cancer, if you are undergoing chemotherapy or using steroids, or if you have poor dental health.

Some people using medicines similar to Zometa have developed bone loss in the jaw, also called osteonecrosis of the jaw. Symptoms of this condition may include jaw pain, swelling, numbness, loose teeth, gum infection, or slow healing after injury or surgery involving the gums.

You may be more likely to develop osteonecrosis of the jaw if you have cancer or have been treated with chemotherapy, radiation, or steroids. Other conditions associated with osteonecrosis of the jaw include blood clotting disorders, anemia (low red blood cells), and dental surgery or pre-existing dental problems.

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use Zometa if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. Zoledronic acid can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not receive Zometa without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Serious side effects on the kidneys may be more likely in older adults using Zometa.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

How is Zometa given?

Zometa is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. Zometa must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take at least 15 minutes to complete.

Drink at least 2 glasses of water within a few hours before your injection to keep from getting dehydrated.

Your doctor may want you to take a calcium and/or vitamin D supplement while you are being treated with Zometa. Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about the type and strength of calcium to take.

To be sure Zometa is helping your condition and is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested often. Your kidney function may also need to be tested. You may not need to use Zometa for longer than 3 to 5 years if you use it for osteoporosis. Visit your doctor regularly.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your Zometa injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include numbness or tingling in your hands and feet, muscle stiffness, spasms in the muscles of your face, uneven heartbeats, and wheezing or trouble breathing.

What should I avoid?

Avoid having any type of dental surgery while you are being treated with Zometa. It may take longer than normal for you to recover.

Zometa side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Zometa: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • urinating less than usual or not at all;

  • drowsiness, confusion, mood changes, increased thirst, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting;

  • swelling, weight gain, feeling short of breath;

  • muscle spasms, numb or tingly feeling (especially around your mouth);

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;

  • pale skin, easy bruising, unusual weakness;

  • feeling like you might pass out;

  • severe joint, bone, or muscle pain;

  • new or unusual pain in your thigh or hip; or

  • bronchospasm (wheezing, chest tightness, trouble breathing).

Less serious Zometa side effects may include:

  • cough;

  • vision problems;

  • diarrhea, constipation;

  • headache, tired feeling;

  • mild joint or muscle pain; or

  • redness or swelling where the needle was placed.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Zometa?

Zometa can harm your kidneys. This effect is increased when you also use other medicines harmful to the kidneys. You may need dose adjustments or special tests if you have recently used:

  • a diuretic (water pill);

  • lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid);

  • methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall);

  • pain or arthritis medicines such as aspirin (Anacin, Excedrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Naprelan, Treximet), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Arthrotec, Cambia, Cataflam, Voltaren, Flector Patch, Pennsaid, Solareze), indomethacin (Indocin), meloxicam (Mobic), and others;

  • medicines used to treat ulcerative colitis, such as mesalamine (Pentasa) or sulfasalazine (Azulfidine);

  • medicine used to prevent organ transplant rejection, such as cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), sirolimus (Rapamune) or tacrolimus (Prograf);

  • IV antibiotics such as amphotericin B (Amphotec, AmBisome, Abelcet), amikacin (Amikin), bacitracin (Baci IM), capreomycin (Capastat), gentamicin (Garamycin), kanamycin (Kantrex), streptomycin, or vancomycin (Vancocin, Vancoled);

  • antiviral medicines such as adefovir (Hepsera), cidofovir (Vistide), or foscarnet (Foscavir); or

  • cancer medicine such as aldesleukin (Proleukin), carmustine (BiCNU, Gliadel), cisplatin (Platinol), ifosfamide (Ifex), oxaliplatin (Eloxatin), streptozocin (Zanosar), or tretinoin (Vesanoid).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Zometa. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about Zometa.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Zometa only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 13.03. Revision Date: 2012-06-04, 4:59:13 PM.

Suffering from knee pain? Find out how real people manage OA of the Knee. Watch Video

Close
Hide
(web1)