zoledronic acid

  • 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.

What brand names are available for zoledronic acid?


Is zoledronic acid available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for zoledronic acid?


What are the uses for zoledronic acid?

What are the side effects of zoledronic acid?

The most common adverse reactions of Reclast include:

Other side effects include:

Possible serious side effects include:

  • 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 Reclast 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
  • Closure of airways

What is the dosage for zoledronic acid?

Reclast is given intravenously over no less than 15 minutes. Administration of acetaminophen or ibuprofen may reduce infusion related reactions.

  • For treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis, a single 5 mg infusion once a year is recommended.
  • For prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis the recommended dose is 5 mg every two years.
  • Paget's disease of bone is treated with a single 5 mg infusion. Patients with Paget's disease should also receive 1500 mg of elemental calcium and 800 IU vitamin D daily, especially during the two weeks after the injection of Reclast.
  • For prevention or treatment of steroid-induced osteoporosis, the recommended dose is 5 mg once yearly.

Which drugs or supplements interact with zoledronic acid?

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

Is zoledronic acid safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

  • Reclast should not be administered to pregnant women. Women of childbearing age should be advised to use a reliable method of birth control.
  • It is not known whether Reclast is excreted in human milk. Since many drugs are excreted in human milk, and Reclast binds to bone long-term, Reclast should not be administered to nursing women.

What else should I know about zoledronic acid?

What preparations of zoledronic acid are available?

Solution: 5 mg/100 ml

How should I keep zoledronic acid stored?

  • Unopened bottles should be kept at room temperature 15 C-30 C (59 F-86 F).
  • Opened bottles of solution are stable for 24 hours at 2 C-8 C (36 F-46 F).


Reclast (zoledronic acid) is an injectable drug in a class of drugs referred to as bisphosphonates. It is prescribed for the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women and men, Paget's disease of bone in men and women, osteoporosis prevention in postmenopausal women, and the treatment of steroid-induced osteoporosis. Side effects include

Drug interactions, warnings and precautions, dosage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.

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Reference: FDA Prescribing Information