Reclast

1 What is Reclast?

Brand: Reclast, Zometa

Generic: Zoledronic Acid

Reclast is injected by your doctor to treat hypercalcemia (high blood level of calcium) associated with multiple myelomas (cancer of bone marrow) or certain cancers that have spread to your bones (metastases).

It is also prescribed for Paget's disease of the bone in men and women, osteoporosis in men, and osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.

Your doctor can prescribe this medicine for patients with a recent hip fracture to lower their risk of developing additional fractures.

A doctor based on his/her experience may prescribe this medicine for conditions other than those mentioned in the label, including:

It is available as:

  • Solution
  • Powder for Solution

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Reclast, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. Together with your doctor, you can decide whether the medication will provide you more goods than the harms.

Here are some factors to be considered before deciding to use this medicine:

Allergies: Inform your doctor about the allergies you have, such as to this medication, other medications, or to foods, dyes, or preservatives.

Pediatric: This medicine is not used in kids.

Geriatric: It may be used in elderly after assessing risks and benefits of the use.

Pregnancy: It falls under pregnancy category D for all trimesters meaning that topiramate carries some risks to the fetus but it may be used in a life threatening situation.

Breastfeeding: It may be used in a nursing mother after assessing risks and benefits of the use.

Drug Interactions: Taking two medicines together can be harmful due to possible interactions. In other cases, even if there is a possible interaction between two medicines your doctor may advise you to take them together after adjusting the dose or issuing precautions.

In case you are currently on treatment with any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter: OTC) medicine, inform your doctor.

Other Interactions: Taking your medicine together with certain foods or items such as alcohol or tobacco may cause undesirable interactions. Talk to your doctor to know if using this medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco is safe.

Medical Problems: Certain medical conditions might influence the effects (both positive and adverse) and action of this medicine.

Inform your doctor about the following conditions, if any:

  • Anemia
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Cancer in the past
  • Dental problems, procedures or surgery
  • Aspirin-induce asthma
  • Heart or kidney diseases
  • Mineral imbalance: Use cautiously
  • Surgically removed intestine
  • Disorders or surgery of parathyroid gland
  • Impaired absorption from stomach
  • Thyroid surgery: May lower blood levels of calcium)
  • Dehydration: Insufficient water in the body may increase risk of severe kidney problems
  • Hypocalcemia (Low blood calcium level)
  • Severe kidney impairment: Do not use zoledronic acid
Have a question aboutReclast?Ask a doctor now

3 Proper Usage

To use Reclast properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. Here are some points to watch for:

  • Read the patient information leaflet carefully and follow accordingly. Consult your doctor if you have any query.
  • This medicine is slowly injected into your vein by a nurse, over at least 15 minutes.
  • Usually, a single dose is effective in hypercalcemia but you may need additional doses. In such case, there should be a gap of at least 7 days between the two doses.
  • Treatment for bone cancer and multiple myelomas will involve one dose every 3 to 4 weeks until some signs of relief become evident.
  • Treatment for osteoporosis will involve one dose every year until some signs of relief become evident.
  • You may have to take vitamin D and calcium supplements during treatment with this medicine.
  • Take enough fluids to ensure proper functioning of your kidneys. Ask your doctor what’s enough for you.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Reclast, there are some precautions you must take. Your progress should be regularly monitored to determine if you are responding to the treatment. Remember:

If you are taking this medicine for postmenopausal osteoporosis, you will need one dose every year till you show some signs of relief.

Do not become pregnant while using this medicine. If you suspect of pregnancy during the treatment, inform your doctor immediately. The Reclast may cause life-threatening allergic conditions like anaphylaxis.

Seek immediate help if you experience following symptoms after getting the injections:

  • Itching, welts
  • Hoarseness
  • Breathing or swallowing problems
  • Swollen hands, face, or mouth

Your blood calcium level must be normal at the time of starting treatment with this medicine. Consult your doctor immediately if experience abnormal muscle contractions, or numbness or tingling sensations in your fingers, toes, or near your mouth.

If you develop following symptoms, see your doctor immediately as they might indicate severe kidney problems:

  • Restlessness
  • Bloody urine or decreased urine volume
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Excessive weakness
  • Abnormal muscle contractions (twitching)
  • Convulsions
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Swollen face, ankles, or hands,

Inform your doctor about:

  • Past occurrences of gum diseases, if any.
  • Treatments involving other bisphosphonate medicines (alendronate, etidronate, pamidronate, risedronate, or tiludronate) in the past.

It’s advised that you inform all your doctor or dentist about your current treatment with this medicine so that they can be careful before prescribing you new treatments involving surgery.

Talk to your doctor if you have developed severe muscle, bone, or joint pain after taking this medicine.

Taking this medicine for a long time increases your risk of having thigh bone fractures. Therefore, talk to your doctor if develop any sort of pain in the thighs, groin, or hips.

Consult your doctor before using any prescription or nonprescription medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Reclast.

Consult your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following side effects:

More common: 

  • Restlessness
  • Bloody urine or decreased urine volume
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Excessive weakness
  • Abnormal muscle contractions (twitching)
  • Convulsions
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Swollen face, ankles, or hands
  • Black, tar-like stools
  • Vision or breathing difficulties
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Itching, welts
  • Hoarseness
  • Breathing or swallowing problems
  • Swollen hands, face, or mouth
  • Easy bleeding or bruising

Less common:

  • Head spinning
  • Muscle cramps in the hands, arms, feet, legs, or face
  • Abnormal muscle contractions
  • Abnormal heartbeats
  • Shaking

Mild and non-serious side effects usually go away on their own without requiring medical intervention. You may also ask your doctor to learn more about how you may prevent or reduce the side effects.

Talk to your doctor if the side effects persist or worry you, including:

More common:

  • Pain in stomach, bladder or back
  • Taste alterations
  • Blood in urine
  • Shallow rapid breathing
  • Red, irritated and itchy skin
  • Swallowing problems
  • Stuffy or a runny nose
  • Swollen, painful joints
  • Hallucinations

Less common:

  • Excessive stomach acid
  • Burps
  • Abnormal skin appearance
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Swollen, painful areas near the injection site
  • Excessive drowsiness or weakness

Rare:

  • Dry, itchy, painful or itchy eyes
  • Increased tear production

The side effects of the medicine are not limited to the ones listed above. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any side effects that are uncommon or worry you. To report side effects to the FDA, contact at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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