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Zoledronic acid (for osteoporosis)

zoh-leh-dron-ik ass-id

What does it do?

Zoledronic acid is used to treat osteoporosis (weak bones). It helps to make your bones stronger and less likely to break. It is also sometimes used for other conditions.

How is it given?

Zoledronic acid is given as an infusion into a vein over 15 to 30 minutes.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with zoledronic acid including:

  • anti-inflammatories, such as diclofenac (e.g. Voltaren®), ibuprofen (e.g. Nurofen®), or aspirin (e.g. Disprin®, in doses used for pain relief). These can also be found in some cold and flu medicines (e.g. Nurofen Cold and Flu®).

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Eye pain, changes in vision

Tell your doctor immediately

Joint, muscle or bone aches and pains

Stomach upset

Tell your doctor if troublesome

Flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, aches and pains)

This usually passes after a few days, take paracetamol if needed

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have kidney, parathyroid, or dental problems.
  • Zoledronic acid can cause kidney problems. Your doctor will check how your kidneys are working before your infusion.
  • Before you have any dental work, tell your dentist you are taking zoledronic acid.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. December 2017

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed