This medication is used to treat high blood calcium levels (hypercalcemia) that may occur with cancer. Zoledronic acid is also used with cancer chemotherapy to treat bone problems that may occur with multiple myeloma and other types of cancer (such as breast, lung) that have spread to the bones. Zoledronic acid belongs to a class of drugs known as bisphosphonates. It lowers high blood calcium levels by reducing the amount of calcium released from your bones into your blood. It also works by slowing the breakdown of your bones by cancer to prevent bone fractures.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start receiving zoledronic acid and each time you get a treatment. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
This medication is given by injection into a vein as directed by your doctor, usually over at least 15 minutes. The dosage is based on your medical condition (including your kidney function) and response to treatment.
If you are giving this medication to yourself at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.
For the treatment of high blood calcium levels, fluids are usually given through a vein before you receive this medication. To decrease the chance of kidney problems, drink plenty of fluids during treatment unless otherwise directed by your doctor. It takes at least 7 days after a dose to get the full benefit of this drug. The dose may need to be repeated depending on your blood calcium levels.
For the treatment of multiple myeloma and bone problems caused by the spread of cancer, this medication is usually given every 3 to 4 weeks or as directed by your doctor. You may also be instructed to take calcium and vitamin D supplements each day.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: increased or severe bone/joint/muscle pain, new or unusual hip/thigh/groin pain, jaw pain, eye/vision problems, numbness/tingling, muscle spasms, irregular heartbeat.
Get medical help right away if you have any serious side effects, including: change in the amount of urine, seizures.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using zoledronic acid, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other bisphosphonates (such as alendronate, risedronate); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Infrequently, people taking this class of medication (bisphosphonates) have had serious jawbone problems (osteonecrosis). Lack of proper dental hygiene, poorly fitting dentures, or certain dental procedures (such as tooth extraction, dental surgery) may increase your risk. Medical conditions (such as gum disease/infection, cancer, anemia) might also increase the risk. If you develop jaw pain, tell your doctor and dentist immediately.
Before having any surgery (especially dental procedures), tell your doctor and dentist about this medication and all other products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
This medication may cause severe kidney problems, especially in the elderly. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information. To help prevent harm to your kidneys, drink plenty of fluids unless otherwise directed by your doctor. (See also How to Use section.)
This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Consult your doctor for more details.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
While using this medication, you should not be treated with other bisphosphonates, including other brands of zoledronic acid used to prevent or treat bone loss (osteoporosis).
Some products that may interact with this drug include: calcium-containing IV fluids, "water pills" (diuretics such as bumetanide, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide).
Also tell your doctor or pharmacist of drugs that may be harmful to your kidneys such as: aminoglycoside antibiotics (e.g., gentamicin, tobramycin), amphotericin B, cyclosporine, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs such as ibuprofen), tacrolimus, vancomycin.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: change in the amount of urine, muscle spasms, muscle weakness, mental/mood changes, irregular heartbeat, seizures.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as calcium and other blood mineral levels, kidney function tests) will be performed before you start treatment, periodically to monitor your progress, or to check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately to establish a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Consult the product instructions and your pharmacist for storage details. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised October 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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