Zoledronic acid

Zoledronic acid - Use | Dose | Effects

This article was medically reviewed by M.Pharm, Marko Tanaskovic on August 12, 2018. To read more about an author, click here.

Zoledronic acid is medicine from the group of the bisphosphonates and it is used for treatment and prevention of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease that is manifested by loss of bone mass which causes weak bones that break easily.

Osteoporosis is more common after using certain medicines (such as dexamethasone, prednisolone, methylprednisolone, fluticasone, and others), and therefore doctor may recommends you to use Zoledronic acid. Osteoporosis is more common in postmenopausal women and therefore this medicine is often used  in postmenopausal women.


If you are planning to go to your dentist, tell your dentist that you are using this drug.

It can cause weak your jaw (jaw osteonecrosis), which increases the risk of jaw fracture. If you experience symptoms of jaw osteonecrosis such as:

  • jaw numbness,
  • jaw pain,
  • tooth loss, contact your doctor. It should be noted that jaw osteonecrosis occurs very rarely.

Zoledronic acid should not be used in patients with low calcium levels in the blood (hypocalcaemia), vitamin D deficiency and kidney disorders.

It cannot be used neither in patients allergic to Zoledronic acid or any other similar medications such as: risedronate, alendronate and others.

Use of Zolendronic acid during pregnancy and breast feeding

According to the FDA, this acid belongs to the group D (FDA: Group D). This means that studies have shown that this medicine is harmful to the fetus. Zoledronic acid should not be used during pregnancy and breast feeding, because Zolendronic acid passes into breast milk.

Use and Dose

Zoledronic acid is administered by injection. Injection should be administerd by trained medical staff. Before you receive an injection you should drink 2 or 3 cups of water.

Injection should be administered through the vein.

The recommended dose is 5 mg by intravenous injection, once a year.

Prior to the implementation of zoledronic acid you should receive an injection or take a pill of vitamin D at a dose of 50,000 to 125 000 IU (IU-international units).

Zoledronic acid is used usually over long time period (3-4 years).

People with severe kidney disroders should not receive an injection of Zoledronic acid.

Use with other medicines (Interactions)

It should not be used in combination with the following medicines:

  • If you are taking medications that can damage your kidneys, such as:
    • chemotherapy,
    • medicines used to treat viral infections (nelfinavir, sakvinavir, etc.),
    • antibiotics (ceftriaxone, gentamicin),
    • furosemide (Lasix),
    • medicines used to treat pain and rheumatism (ibuprofen, naproxen, indomethacin, diclofenac, etc.).
    • Concomitant use of zoledronic acid with these medicines, increases the risk of kidney damage.

Tell your doctor about all medications and herbal medicines you are taking.

Side effects

Zoledronic acid may cause the following side effects:

  1. kidney damage,
  2. hypocalcaemia (low calcium levels in the blood),
  3. hypophosphatemia (low phosphate levels in the blood),
  4. flu-like symptoms (cough, fever, sore throat),
  5. anemia,
  6. headache,
  7. jaw osteonecrosis (jaw pain, jaw numbness, tooth loss),
  8. irregular heartbeat,
  9. chest pain,
  10. conjunctivitis,
  11. drowsiness,
  12. insomnia,
  13. allergy and others.

Tell your doctor if you experience any side effect.

Information on this website are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.

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