zoledronic acid, Reclast

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GENERIC NAME: zoledronic acid


DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Zoledronic acid is an injectable drug belonging to a class of drugs called bisphosphonates that strengthen bone and are used primarily to treat osteoporosis. Zoledronic acid also is the active drug in Zometa, which is used for treating cancer. The bisphosphonate class includes etidronate (Didronel), pamidronate (Aredia), risedronate (Actonel), ibandronate (Boniva), and tiludronate (Skelid). Bone is in a constant state of remodeling. New bone is laid down by cells called osteoblasts while old bone is removed by cells called osteoclasts. Bisphosphonates strengthen bone by inhibiting bone removal (resorption) by osteoclasts. After menopause, there is an increased rate of bone loss leading to osteoporosis. Bisphosphonates increase bone density and decrease bone fractures. The FDA approved Reclast in August 2007.

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