zoledronic acid, Reclast

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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GENERIC NAME: zoledronic acid




USES: Zoledronic acid is used for treatment of osteoporosis in men and postmenopausal women as well as Paget's disease. It also is used to prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women and treatment of steroid-induced osteoporosis.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common adverse reactions of zoledronic acid are:

Severe bone, joint, and muscle pain may occur. Low calcium levels may occur if calcium and vitamin D intake is not adequate. Reduced kidney function after administration of zoledronic acid has occurred. Patients may experience jaw problems (osteonecrosis of the jaw) associated with delayed healing and infection after tooth extraction. Bone, joint, and muscle pain also occur and low-trauma femoral fractures have been reported.

Other important but rare side effects include cases of severe allergic reactions involving:

  • shock,
  • swelling of tongue,
  • throat, and
  • closure of airways

PREPARATIONS: Solution: 5 mg/100 ml

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Combining zoledronic acid with aminoglycoside antibiotics such as gentamycin or loop diuretics such as furosemide (Lasix) or bumetanide (Bumex) may lead to reduced calcium in blood. Zoledronic acid should be used with caution in patients who are taking drugs that affect kidney function because zoledronic acid has been associated with reduced kidney function. Since Reclast contains the same active ingredient as Zometa (zoledronic acid), patients treated with Zometa should not receive Reclast.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/5/2016

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