Zometa is the brand name for zoledronic acid. It is also known as zoledronate. It is also marketed under the brand name "Reclast." There are no generics for Zometa or Reclast. Zometa is classified as a "bisphosphonate." Other drugs in this class include Fosamax (alendronate), Didronel (etidronate) and Actonel (risedronate).
Zometa is used to treat bone loss by inhibiting the release of calcium from the bones. Its performance may be enhanced with Vitamin D and calcium supplements. Always check with your doctor first before taking supplements. It is also used to treat high blood calcium (hypercalcemia) that results from bone cancer that has spread through the body. Furthermore, it is used to treat osteoporosis.
Zometa is available in 5 ml (0.17 fl oz) vials and is administered every 3 to 4 weeks. Its cost ranges between £585 and £650 per vial (as of December 2009). Reclast is available as a 100 ml (3.4 fl oz) solution. It is given once a year. Reclast ranges between £715 and £780 per vial (as of December 2009).
Major side effects of Zometa and Reclast may include bone loss in the jaw, numbness or tingling in the jaw, loose teeth, gum infection or swelling, blood clot disorders and anaemia. Serious side effects include debilitating joint, muscle or bone pain, pale skin, trouble urinating, fever, chills and flu-like symptoms. Milder side effects may include mild joint, muscle and bone pain, cough, changes in appetite, diarrhoea, constipation and headache.
Zometa and Reclast can have serious interactions with chemotherapy drugs, steroids and radiation treatment. Because they can cause jaw bone loss, it is important to notify your dentist before any procedure if you take Zometa or Reclast.
This information is not intended to replace medical advice. Always contact your doctor if you have serious side effects or if you need advice concerning the use of Zometa or Reclast. Never take both drugs at the same time.