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Zoledronic acid parenteral 5mg/100ml


Infusion containing 5mg anhydrous zoledronic acid per 100ml.

Drugs List

  • ACLASTA 5mg/100ml solution for infusion
  • zoledronic acid 5mg/100ml solution for infusion
  • Therapeutic Indications


    Paget's disease of bone
    Treatment of corticosteroid induced osteoporosis
    Treatment of osteoporosis in men to prevent fractures
    Treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women to prevent fractures

    Formulations linked to this monograph are indicated for:

    Treatment of Paget's disease of bone.
    Treatment of osteoporosis in men and postmenopausal women at increased risk of fracture, including those with recent low-trauma hip fracture.
    Treatment of osteoporosis associated with long-term systemic glucocorticoid therapy in men and postmenopausal women at increased risk of fracture.

    See separate information for formulations for other indications.



    Treatment of Paget's disease
    The recommended dose is one intravenous infusion of 5 mg zoledronic acid in 100 ml aqueous solution administered by intravenous infusion at a constant rate. The infusion time must not be less than 15 minutes.

    Treatment of osteoporosis and osteoporosis associated with long-term systemic glucocorticoid therapy
    The recommended dose is one intravenous infusion of 5 mg zoledronic acid administered over at least 15 minutes once a year.

    Patients on long term treatment with zoledronic acid for osteoporosis should be re-evaluated periodically, particularly after 5 or more years of use.

    Treatment of low-trauma hip fracture
    The recommended dose in one intravenous infusion of 5 mg zoledronic acid, two or more weeks after the hip fracture repair. Infusion time must not be less than 15 minutes.


    (See Dosage; Adult)

    It is especially important to ensure that elderly patients are adequately hydrated prior to commencing treatment with zoledronic acid.

    Additional Dosage Information

    Patients should be adequately hydrated before commencing treatment, particularly if receiving diuretics.

    An adequate supply of vitamin D and calcium should be maintained during therapy.

    In addition, in Paget's disease, manufacturers advise that adequate supplemental calcium, corresponding to at least 500 mg elemental calcium twice daily, is ensured for at least 10 days following administration of zoledronic acid.

    An extended period of remission is usually observed in responding patients after initial treatment with zoledronic acid. Re-treatment consists of an additional intravenous infusion of 5 mg zoledronic acid after an interval of 1 year or longer from initial treatment in patients who have relapsed. Limited data on re-treatment of Paget's disease are available.

    Administration of paracetamol or ibuprofen shortly after administration of zoledronic acid may help to reduce post-dose adverse reactions.

    In patients with a low-trauma hip fracture, a loading dose of 50,000 to 125,000 units of vitamin D given orally or via the intramuscular route is recommended prior to the first dose of zoledronic acid.


    For intravenous infusion only.

    Zoledronic acid (5 mg in 100 ml ready-to-infuse solution) is administered via a vented infusion line.


    Children under 18 years
    Renal impairment - creatinine clearance below 35ml/minute

    Precautions and Warnings

    Renal impairment
    Severe hepatic impairment

    Avoid overhydration in patients at risk of cardiac failure
    Advise ability to drive/operate machinery may be affected by side effects
    Consider a dental exam & appropriate preventive dentistry before treatment
    Maintain adequate hydration of patient prior / during treatment
    Not all available brands are licensed for all indications
    Treatment to be administered under the supervision of a specialist
    Use calcium-free infusion solutions for dilution
    Ensure patient's dietary intake of calcium and vitamin D is adequate
    Monitor serum calcium levels
    Monitor serum creatinine before each dose
    Monitor serum magnesium regularly
    Monitor serum phosphate levels
    Advise patient to report any ear pain, discharge or infection
    Withdraw if renal function deteriorates: reinstate when within 10% baseline
    Consider withholding treatment if osteonecrosis of the jaw occurs
    Discontinue bisphosphonates permanently if atypical stress fracture occurs
    Female: Ensure adequate contraception during treatment
    Advise patient of need for high oral hygiene standards
    Advise patient to report any dental mobility, pain or swelling
    Give patient package leaflet and patient reminder card
    Patient to inform dentist of bisphosphonate use: avoid invasive procedures
    Prevention of skeletal related events - onset of effect is 2-3 months

    Osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) has been reported in patients treated with bisphosphonates, most cases have been in patients with advanced malignancies involving bone. In studies patients who developed ONJ had known risk factors, including a diagnosis of cancer with bone lesions, concomitant therapies (e.g., chemotherapy, antiangiogenic biologics, corticosteroids, radiotherapy to head and neck), poor oral hygiene, invasive dental procedures including extractions and dental implants, co-morbid disorders (e.g., pre-existing dental disease, anaemia, coagulopathy, infection) and previous treatment with bisphosphonates.

    Dental examination with appropriate preventative procedures and an individual benefit-risk assessment is recommended prior to zoledronic acid therapy in patients with risk factors for ONJ. While on treatment, patients should avoid invasive dental procedures if possible, especially in close proximity to the start of treatment with zoledronic acid. The start of treatment or a new course of treatment should be delayed in patients with unhealed open soft tissue lesion in the mouth. Good oral hygiene practices and regular routine dental check-ups should be maintained during treatment with zoledronic acid.

    For patients who develop ONJ during treatment, dental surgery may exacerbate the condition. If ONJ occurs during treatment with zoledronic acid, use clinical judgement and guide the management plan of each patient based on individual benefit/risk evaluation. The management plan for patients with ONJ should be set up in close collaboration between the treating physician and a dentist or oral surgeon with expertise in ONJ. Temporary interruption of treatment should be considered until the condition resolves and contributing risk factors are mitigated where possible.

    Osteonecrosis of the external auditory canal has been reported very rarely with bisphosphonates, mainly in association with long term therapy (2 years or longer). Risk factors include steroid use and chemotherapy and/or local risk factors as infection or trauma. The possibility of osteonecrosis of the external auditory canal should be considered in patients receiving bisphosphonates who present with ear symptoms including chronic ear infections.

    Atypical stress fractures of the proximal femoral shaft with poor healing have been reported for treatment with another bisphosphonate, alendronic acid. Limited data exists regarding a relationship for other bisphosphonates and atypical stress fractures. However, the possibility of atypical stress fractures cannot be excluded. Patients who develop atypical stress fractures should discontinue treatment and receive no further bisphosphonate treatment.

    Pregnancy and Lactation


    Zoledronic acid is contraindicated during pregnancy.

    Not recommended in women of childbearing potential.

    Animal studies have shown reproduction toxicological effects and although the significance to humans is unknown, zoledronic acid should not be used in human pregnancy. If treatment has been discontinued before pregnancy, the very long elimination half life from bone indicates that women treated with zoledronic acid will have detectable concentrations of the drug for a prolonged interval. If exposure occurs during gestation, detailed ultrasound examination of the foetal skeleton appears to be warranted (Briggs, 2011) although Schaeffer (2007) states that accidental use of a single dose does not justify interruption of the pregnancy or additional diagnostic procedures.

    The use of all medication in pregnancy should be avoided whenever possible; particularly in the first trimester. Non-drug treatments should also be considered. When essential, a medication with the best safety record over time should be chosen, employing the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Polypharmacy should be avoided. Teratogens taken in the pre-embryonic period, often quoted as lasting until 14 to 17 days post-conception, are believed to have an all-or-nothing effect. Where drugs have a short half-life, and when the date of conception is certain, this may allow women to be reassured where drug exposure has occurred within this time frame. Further advice may be available from the UK National Teratology Information Service (NTIS) and through ToxBase, available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).


    Zoledronic acid is contraindicated during breastfeeding.

    It is not known whether zoledronic acid is excreted into human milk. The molecular weight (about 290 for the hydrated form), lack of metabolism, low plasma protein binding, plasma half life, and the prolonged terminal elimination half life suggest that the drug will be excreted into breast milk. Detectable amounts of the drug are measured in adult plasma for less than 28 days post dose. Although the low lipid solubility of zoledronic acid may limit the amount present in milk, and maternal treatment may be compatible with nursing, until data are available the best course is not to breastfeed.

    Neonates, infants born prematurely, those with low birth weight, those with an unstable gastrointestinal function or who have serious illnesses may require special consideration. For any infant, if a drug is prescribed to the nursing mother, it should be at the lowest practical dose and for the shortest time. When drug administration is unavoidable and breastfeeding is to continue, minimisation of exposure of the infant to the drug may sometimes be achieved by timing the maternal doses to just after a feeding episode. Infants exposed to drugs via breast milk should be monitored for unusual signs or symptoms. Interactions between the drug received by the infant from the mother's milk and medication prescribed for the infant should also be considered, for example, when the drug given to the infant may prevent metabolism of the drug received via breast milk.
    Specialist advice is available from the UK Drugs in Lactation Advisory Service at

    Side Effects

    Acute phase reaction
    Acute renal failure
    Anaphylactic shock
    Angioneurotic oedema
    Atrial fibrillation
    Atypical femoral fracture
    Blurred vision
    Circulatory collapse
    Decreased appetite
    Deterioration of renal function in pre-existing renal disease
    Dry mouth
    Gastroesophageal reflux disease
    Hypersensitivity reactions
    Increase in blood urea or creatinine
    Influenza-like syndrome
    Injection site reactions
    Joint swelling
    Muscle spasm
    Muscle weakness
    Muscular cramps
    Non-cardiac chest pain
    Ocular hyperaemia
    Orbital inflammation
    Osteonecrosis (primarily of the jaw)
    Osteonecrosis of the external auditory canal
    Peripheral oedema
    Raised C-reactive protein
    Renal impairment
    Sleep disturbances
    Taste disturbances
    Tooth ache
    Weight gain


    It is strongly recommended that the UK National Poisons Information Service be consulted on cases of suspected or actual overdose where there is doubt over the degree of risk or about appropriate management.

    The following number will direct the caller to the relevant local centre (0844) 892 0111

    Information may be obtained if you have access to ToxBase the primary clinical toxicology database of the National Poisons Information Service. This is available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).

    Further Information

    Last Full Review Date: July 2013

    Reference Sources

    Drugs During Pregnancy and Lactation: Treatment Options and Risk Assessment, 2nd edition (2007) ed. Schaefer, C., Peters, P. and Miller, R. Elsevier, London.

    Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation: A Reference Guide to Fetal and Neonatal Risk, 9th edition (2011) ed. Briggs, G., Freeman, R. and Yaffe, S. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia.

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Aclasta 5mg Solution for Infusion. Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd. Revised December 2015.

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Zoledronic acid 5mg/100ml Solution for Infusion. Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd. Revised February 2014.

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Zoledronic acid 5mg/100ml Solution for Infusion. Hospira UK Ltd. Revised April 2014.

    The Renal Drug Handbook. 3rd edition. (2009) ed. Ashley, C and Currie, Radcliffe Publishing Ltd, Abingdon.

    MHRA Drug Safety Update: Bisphosphonates: atypical stress fractures. Dated: March 2009.
    Last accessed: July 12, 2013.

    MHRA Drug Safety Update: Bisphosphonates-osteonecrosis of the jaw. Dated: November 2009.
    Last accessed: July 12, 2013.

    MHRA Drug Safety Update: Intravenous zoledronic acid: adverse effects on renal function. Dated: April 2010.
    Last accessed: July 12, 2013.

    MHRA Drug Safety Update December 2015
    Available at:
    Last accessed: 13 January 2016

    US National Library of Medicine. Toxicology Data Network. Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed).
    Available at:
    Zoledronic Acid. Last revised: January 4, 2011.
    Last accessed: July 12, 2013.

    NICE Evidence Services Available at: Last accessed: 23 August 2017

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