Zometa

Generic Name: Zoledronic Acid

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Zometa is a medicine used to treat high blood calcium levels caused by certain types of cancer. It is also used in combination with cancer chemotherapy to treat bone damage caused by a cancer called multiple myeloma or by cancer that began in another part of the body but has spread to the bones. Zometa is administered intravenously (injected into a vein in your arm).

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Zometa works by blocking the breakdown of bones and decreasing the amount of calcium released from the bones into your blood, thereby helping to treat bone disease.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What: In clinical studies, 88% of people treated with Zometa had normalized blood calcium levels within 10 days. Zometa has also been shown to reduce skeletal-related events (such as fractures or bone surgeries) in people with certain cancers.

    When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions.

    How do I know it is working?

    Your healthcare provider may order tests regularly and ask you questions from time to time to check how well this medication is working.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    More common side effects may include: nausea, fatigue, anemia (low red blood cell counts), bone pain, constipation, fever, vomiting, shortness of breath.

    Less common side effects may include:

    Unusual fractures in the thigh bone, with symptoms such as new or unusual pain in your hip, groin, or thigh.

    Low blood calcium levels, with symptoms such as spasms, twitches, or cramps in your muscles, or numbness or tingling in your fingers, toes, or around your mouth.

    Zometa may cause severe jaw bone problems or joint or muscle pain.

    Zometa can also harm your unborn baby. Talk to your healthcare provider about other treatment options if you plan to become pregnant. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you become pregnant while taking Zometa.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Your healthcare provider will not administer Zometa to you if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Zometa. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you are allergic to aspirin; have asthma; kidney problems; low blood calcium levels; if you plan to have dental surgery; or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Adults: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for you, based on your condition.

    If you have kidney impairment, your healthcare provider may adjust your dose appropriately.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Your healthcare provider will administer Zometa to you.

    Drink plenty of fluids while you are receiving Zometa, especially before you are about to receive it.

    Your healthcare provider may prescribe calcium and vitamin D to help prevent low blood calcium levels while you are taking Zometa. Take these exactly as directed by your healthcare provider.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not miss any scheduled follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider.

    Do not schedule dental procedures while you are receiving Zometa. However, you should have a dental examination before beginning treatment.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If Zometa is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Zometa with the following: certain antibiotics (such as amikacin or gentamicin), certain water pills (such as furosemide or torsemide), medicines that harm your kidneys (such as cisplatin or amphotericin B), or thalidomide.

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    Zometa can harm your unborn baby if you receive it during pregnancy. The effects of Zometa during breastfeeding are unknown. Do not breastfeed while you are receiving Zometa. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    Zometa should be given under special circumstances determined by your healthcare provider. If you miss your scheduled dose, contact your healthcare provider or pharmacist for advice.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Your healthcare provider will store this medication for you.