Zoledronic acid is a bisphosphonate. Zoledronic Acid is used to prevent skeletal fractures in patients with cancers such as multiple myeloma and prostate cancer, as well as for treating osteoporosis. It can also be used to treat hypercalcemia of malignancy and can be helpful for treating pain from bone metastases.
An annual dose of zoledronic acid may also prevent recurring fractures in patients with a previous hip fracture. Aprepitant may also be useful in the treatment of cyclic vomiting syndrome but there are few studies to date.
Approvals And Indications
In all cases administration is by intravenous infusion over a minimum of 15 minutes
Bone Complications Of Cancer
As Zometa (4 mg every three weeks) for bone complications of cancer.
Zometa has been demonstrated to reduce significantly the risk of skeletal complications in breast cancer patients with bone metastases. It can be administered at home rather than in hospital. Such administration has shown safety and quality-of-life benefits in breast cancer patients with bone metastases.
As Aclasta (5 mg infusion once per year) for treatment of osteoporosis in men and post-menopausal women at increased risk of fracture. Zoledronate has shown significant benefits versus placebo over three years, with a reduced number of vertebral fractures and improved markers of bone density.
Hypercalcemia of malignancy
Zomera (zoledronic acid for injection) is indicated for the treatment of hypercalcemia of malignancy.
Multiple myeloma and bone metastases of solid tumors
Zomera is indicated for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma and patients with documented bone metastases from solid tumors, in conjunction with standard antineoplastic therapy.
As Reclast a single dose of 5 mg is used for the treatment of Paget’s disease
Side effects can include fatigue, anemia, muscle aches, fever, and/or swelling in the feet or legs. Flu-like symptoms are commonly experienced after the first zoledronate infusion, although not subsequent infusions, and are thought to occur because of its potential to activate human γδ T cells (gamma/delta T cells).
Zoledronate is rapidly processed via the kidneys; consequently its administration is not recommended for patients with reduced renal function or kidney disease. Some cases of acute renal failure requiring dialysis or having a fatal outcome, following Reclast use, have been reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This assessment was confirmed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) whose Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) adopted new contraindications for the medication on 15 December 2011, including those with hypocalcaemia and severe renal impairment with creatinine clearance of less than 35 ml/min.
A rare complication that has been recently observed in cancer patients being treated with bisphosphonates is osteonecrosis of the jaw. This has mainly been seen in patients with multiple myeloma treated with zoledronate who have had dental extractions.
After approving the drug on 8 July 2009, the European Medicines Agency conducted a class review of all bisphosphonates, including Zoledronate, after several cases of atypical fractures were reported. In 2008, the EMA’s Pharmacovigilance Working Party (PhVWP) noted that alendronic acid was associated with an increased risk of atypical fracture of the femur that developed with low or no trauma. In April 2010, the PhVWP noted that further data from both the published literature and post-marketing reports were now available that suggested that atypical stress fractures of the femur may be a class effect. The European Medicines Agency then reviewed all case reports of stress fractures in patients treated with bisphosphonates, relevant data from the published literature and data provided by the companies that market bisphosphonates. The Agency recommended that doctors who prescribe bisphosphonate-containing medicines should be aware that atypical fractures may occur rarely in the femur, especially after long term use and that doctors who are prescribing these medicines for the prevention or treatment of osteoporosis should regularly review the need for continued treatment, especially after five or more years of use.