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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Quick Drug Information (DrugNotes) > Zoledronic Acid (Injection)

Zoledronic Acid (Injection)

Zoledronic Acid (ZOE-le-dron-ik AS-id)

Treats high blood calcium levels (hypercalcemia) that sometimes occur in patients with cancer. Also treats bone damage caused by multiple myeloma and cancers that spread to the bone.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to zoledronate, mannitol, or similar medicines such as alendronate (Fosamax®), etidronate (Didronel®), pamidronate (Aredia®), risedronate (Actonel®), or tiludronate (Skelid®), or if you are pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
  • You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. It may also be given by a home health caregiver.
  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins. It will take at least 15 minutes for you to receive one dose of this medicine.
  • If you are receiving this medicine for hypercalcemia, the medicine is usually given only once. If your doctor determines that you need additional doses, you will receive the medicine again after at least 7 days have passed. This treatment will continue until your body responds to the medicine.
  • If you are receiving this medicine for cancer treatment, this medicine is usually given every 3 to 4 weeks, often for 9 months or more. This treatment will continue until your body responds to the medicine.
  • You may also receive other medicines to help keep your body from losing too much fluid and becoming dehydrated.
  • Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about drinking extra fluids so you will pass more urine while you are receiving this medicine. This will keep your kidneys working well and help prevent kidney problems. However, it is very important to not drink too much liquid.

If a dose is missed:

  • This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss an appointment to receive your medicine, call your doctor or home health caregiver for instructions.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using thalidomide (Thalomid®), antibiotics (such as amikacin (Amikin®), gentamicin (Garamycin®), streptomycin, tobramycin), or diuretics or "water pills" (such as furosemide, Lasix®).
Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, congestive heart failure, asthma, or an allergy to aspirin.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood and urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Decrease in how much or how often you urinate
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps
  • Muscle spasms or tremors, loss of appetite, sleepiness
  • Painful urination, or blood in urine
  • Trouble breathing or chest pain
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Low fever, chills, bone or joint pain, general muscle aches
  • Mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, or constipation
  • Mild skin rash or itching
  • Pain, redness, swelling where the IV needle is placed
  • Red, irritated eyes
  • Trouble sleeping
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.

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