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Zometa

Generic name: zoledronic acid

What is Zometa used for?

  • Zometa is used to treat high calcium levels in patients with cancer.
  • It is used when treating some cancers.
  • Zometa may be given to you for other reasons. Talk to your doctor.

Before taking Zometa, tell your doctor:

  • If you are allergic to Zometa; any part of this medicine; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
  • If you have low calcium levels.
  • If you have kidney disease.
  • If you are taking another drug that has the same drug in it.
  • If you are using another drug like this one. If you are not sure, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
  • If you are pregnant or may be pregnant. Do not take Zometa if you are pregnant.
  • If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take Zometa. You may also need to avoid breast-feeding for some time after your last dose. Talk with your doctor to see if you need to avoid breast-feeding after your last dose.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this medicine.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Zometa with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Zometa?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take Zometa. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Worsening of asthma has happened in people taking drugs like this one. Talk with the doctor.
  • This medicine may raise the chance of a broken leg. Talk with the doctor.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • Have a bone density test as you have been told by your doctor. Talk with your doctor.
  • Take calcium and vitamin D as you were told by your doctor.
  • This medicine may cause jawbone problems. The risk may be higher with longer use, cancer, dental problems, ill-fitting dentures, anemia, blood clotting problems, or infection. It may also be higher if you have dental work, chemo, radiation, or take other drugs that may cause jawbone problems. Many drugs can do this. Talk with your doctor if any of these apply to you, or if you have questions. Call your doctor right away if you have jaw swelling or pain.
  • Have a dental exam before starting Zometa.
  • Take good care of your teeth. See a dentist often.
  • You will need to be sure that you are not dehydrated before getting Zometa. Check with your doctor to see if you need to drink extra fluids before getting Zometa.
  • If you are 65 or older, use Zometa with care. You could have more side effects.
  • This medicine may cause fertility problems. This may affect being able to have children. Talk with the doctor.
  • This medicine may cause harm to an unborn baby. A pregnancy test will be done before you start Zometa to show that you are NOT pregnant.
  • Women must use birth control while taking Zometa and for some time after the last dose. Ask your doctor how long to use birth control. If you get pregnant, call your doctor right away.

How is Zometa best taken?

Use Zometa as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • It is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.
  • Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Call your doctor to find out what to do.

What are the side effects of Zometa that I need to call my doctor about immediately?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of fluid and electrolyte problems like mood changes, confusion, muscle pain or weakness, a heartbeat that does not feel normal, very bad dizziness or passing out, fast heartbeat, more thirst, seizures, feeling very tired or weak, not hungry, unable to pass urine or change in the amount of urine produced, dry mouth, dry eyes, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
  • Signs of a urinary tract infection (UTI) like blood in the urine, burning or pain when passing urine, feeling the need to pass urine often or right away, fever, lower stomach pain, or pelvic pain.
  • Very bad bone, joint, or muscle pain.
  • Any new or strange groin, hip, or thigh pain.
  • Feeling agitated.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
  • Low mood (depression).
  • Chest pain.
  • Change in eyesight, eye pain, or very bad eye irritation.
  • Mouth sores.
  • Trouble swallowing.
  • Very bad pain when swallowing.
  • Fever, chills, or sore throat; any unexplained bruising or bleeding; or feeling very tired or weak.
  • Very bad headache.
  • Swelling in the arms or legs.
  • Vaginal itching or discharge.

What are some other side effects of Zometa?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Feeling dizzy, tired, or weak.
  • Constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, upset stomach, throwing up, or feeling less hungry.
  • Heartburn.
  • Headache.
  • Flu-like signs.
  • Back, bone, joint, muscle, or neck pain.
  • Pain in arms or legs.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Weight loss.
  • Cough.
  • Anxiety.
  • Hair loss.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If overdose is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Zometa?

  • If you need to store Zometa at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.

Consumer information use and disclaimer

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about Zometa, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Zometa or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Zometa. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Source: Wolters Kluwer Health. Last updated May 19, 2020.