ZOMETA (zoledronic acid) 4 mg/5 mL is a treatment for hypercalcemia of malignancy (HCM; a condition resulting in high calcium blood levels due to cancer). ZOMETA is also used to reduce and delay bone complications due to multiple myeloma and bone metastases from solid tumors; used with anti-cancer medicines. ZOMETA is not an anti-cancer therapy. If you have prostate cancer, you should have failed treatment with at least one hormonal therapy prior to taking ZOMETA.
Important Safety Information
Do not use ZOMETA if you have had a severe allergic reaction to zoledronic acid or any components of ZOMETA. These reactions, including rare cases of hives and angioedema (swelling often near your eyes and lips), very rare cases of life-threatening allergic reactions and severe skin reactions, have been reported. ZOMETA is in a class of drugs called bisphosphonates, and contains the same active ingredient as that found in Reclast® (zoledronic acid). If you are treated with ZOMETA, you should not be treated with Reclast.
If you have HCM, you should drink plenty of clear fluids before using ZOMETA. If you have kidney problems, tell your doctor. The risk of adverse reactions (especially related to the kidney) may be greater for you. ZOMETA treatment is not for patients with severe kidney problems. Patients with kidney problems on multiple cycles of ZOMETA or other bisphosphonates are at greater risk for further kidney problems. It is important to get your blood tests while you are receiving ZOMETA. Your doctor will monitor your kidney function before each dose. Tell your doctor if you are on other drugs, including aminoglycosides, loop diuretics, calcitonin, drugs that may lower your calcium levels, and drugs which may be harmful to the kidney.
Osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) has been reported mainly in cancer patients treated with intravenous bisphosphonates, including ZOMETA and the risk may increase with longer use of bisphosphonates. Many of these patients were also receiving anti-cancer drugs and corticosteroids, which may make it more likely to get ONJ. If you have advanced breast cancer or a type of cancer called multiple myeloma, or if you have had dental extraction, periodontal disease, local trauma, including poorly fitting dentures, you may be at greater risk of getting ONJ. Many reports of ONJ involved patients with signs of local infection, including bone/bone marrow inflammation. You should maintain good oral hygiene and have a dental examination with preventive dentistry prior to beginning ZOMETA. While on treatment, avoid invasive dental procedures, if possible, as recovery may take longer. If you develop ONJ while on bisphosphonate therapy, dental surgery may worsen the condition. If you require dental procedures, there are no data available to suggest whether stopping ZOMETA treatment reduces the risk of ONJ. A causal relationship between bisphosphonate use and ONJ has not been established. Based on your condition, your doctor will determine the treatment plan you will receive.
Do not use ZOMETA if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or if you are breast-feeding.
Severe and occasionally incapacitating bone, joint, and/or muscle pain has been reported in patients taking bisphosphonates, including ZOMETA. Do not continue using ZOMETA if severe symptoms develop, as some patients had the symptoms reappear after taking ZOMETA or another bisphosphonate again. In aspirin sensitive patients, bronchoconstriction (tightening of the airways in the lungs) has been observed while taking bisphosphonates.
Report any hip, thigh, or groin pain to your doctor, as unusual thigh bone fractures have been reported in patients receiving bisphosphonates, including ZOMETA. These fractures may occur with little or no trauma. It is unknown whether the risk of fracture continues after stopping therapy.
Low calcium levels have been reported with ZOMETA use. Some signs of severely low calcium levels include abnormal heartbeat or neurologic problems such as seizures, numbness, and involuntary muscle contractions. Tell your doctor right away if you experience any of these signs or symptoms.
If you are an HCM patient with liver problems, talk to your doctor about whether ZOMETA is appropriate for you.
HCM patients may experience flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, flushing, bone pain and/or joint or muscle pain). Common side effects in HCM patients include fever, nausea, constipation, anemia, shortness of breath, diarrhea, abdominal pain, worsening of cancer, insomnia, vomiting, anxiety, urinary tract infection, low phosphate levels, confusion, agitation, a fungal infection called moniliasis, low potassium levels, coughing, skeletal pain, low blood pressure, and low magnesium levels. Redness and swelling may occur at the site that you are injected.
Common side effects for patients with multiple myeloma and bone metastases due to solid tumors include bone pain, nausea, fatigue, anemia, fever, vomiting, constipation, shortness of breath, diarrhea, weakness, muscle pain, anorexia, cough, joint pain, lower-limb swelling, worsening of your cancer, headache, dizziness (excluding vertigo), insomnia, decreased weight, back pain, numbness/tingling, and abdominal pain. These side effects are listed regardless of any potential association with the medications used in registration studies of ZOMETA in bone metastases patients.
Influenza-like illness has been reported with symptoms including fever, fatigue, bone pain and/or joint pain, muscle pain, chills and arthritis with subsequent joint swelling.
Eye-related side effects may occur with bisphosphonates, including ZOMETA. Cases of swelling related to fluid build-up in the eye, as well as inflammation of the uvea, sclera, episclera, conjunctiva, and iris of the eye have been reported.
Patients with multiple myeloma and bone metastases from solid tumors should be taking an oral calcium supplement of 500 mg and a multiple vitamin containing 400 international units of vitamin D daily.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.