What Is Zoledronic Acid Used For?

Zoledronic acid is used for treating several conditions, including Paget's disease, high blood calcium due to cancer, and multiple myeloma or solid tumor cancers that have spread to the bone. The medication is currently not approved for use in children. Occasionally, healthcare providers will recommend off-label zoledronic acid uses, such as for the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis.

What Is Zoledronic Acid Used For? An Overview

Zoledronic acid (Reclast®, Zometa®) is a prescription medication approved for the following uses:
  • To prevent or delay broken bones or other bone damage due to multiple myeloma or solid tumor cancers that have spread to the bone
  • To treat high blood calcium levels due to cancer (known medically as hypercalcemia of malignancy)
  • To treat Paget's disease of bone
  • To treat osteoporosis in men and postmenopausal women
  • To treat and prevent osteoporosis due to glucocorticoid steroid medications (such as prednisone). 


Zoledronic Acid for Preventing Bone Damage

Cancer can affect the bones. Cancer from other parts of the body can spread to the bones, or cancer can start in the bones (such as with multiple myeloma). Either way, cancer can wear away the bone, leading to pain, broken bones, and the need for bone surgery or radiation. If the spinal bones are affected, this can lead to pressure on the spine, causing pain, unusual sensations, loss of bowel or bladder control, or even paralysis.
Zoledronic acid is approved to help prevent or delay bone damage due to solid tumor cancers (such as breast, prostate, or lung cancer, among many others) that have spread to the bone. These are known as cancers with bone metastases. It is also approved to prevent or delay bone damage due to multiple myeloma, a cancer that affects plasma cells in the bone marrow. It is important to understand that zoledronic acid is not a chemotherapy medication; it should always be used along with appropriate cancer treatment.
Zometa (but not Reclast) is approved for this use.
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