What Is Zoledronic Acid Used For?

Zoledronic Acid for Treating Paget's Disease

Normally, bone is continuously being broken down and rebuilt. Paget's disease of the bone is a condition involving rapid breakdown of bone combined with abnormal reformation of bone. The abnormally reformed bone is weaker than normal. Symptoms of Paget's disease can include pain and bent or broken bones. Bisphosphonates, such as zoledronic acid, can help slow the breakdown of bone and help the body build bone more normally.
Not all people with Paget's need to be treated with a bisphosphonate. Zoledronic acid is recommended for people with very high alkaline phosphate levels (a measure of Paget's severity) who have Paget's symptoms or who are at risk for future complications of Paget's disease.
Reclast (but not Zometa) is approved for this use.

How Does Zoledronic Acid Work?

Zoledronic acid belongs to a group of medications known as bisphosphonates. Bisphosphonates are most commonly used to treat osteoporosis, but some can be used to treat other conditions. Zoledronic acid works to prevent or delay broken bones (fractures) or other bone damage by slowing the destruction that occurs with Paget's disease and cancer and by fighting the abnormal cells that cause bone to wear away.
When cancer causes bone destruction, large amounts of calcium are released into the bloodstream, leading to high calcium levels (hypercalcemia). This can be very dangerous. By slowing down the breakdown of bone, zoledronic acid helps to treat high calcium levels caused by cancer.

Zoledronic Acid Uses in Children

Zoledronic acid is not approved for use in children. Talk to your healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using the drug in children. Zoledronic acid seems to increase the risk of bone cancer in rats, and it is thought that children may be at higher risk for developing bone cancer due to zoledronic acid (since their bones are still growing).
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