Zoledronic acid infusion for prevention and treatment of osteoporosis
John A Sunyecz
Laurel Highlands Ob/Gyn, Hopwood, Pennsylvania, USA and MenopauseRx, Inc., Uniontown, PA, USA
Abstract: Osteoporotic fractures are associated with significant morbidity, reduced quality of life, increased mortality, and high health care costs. Bisphosphonates are standard therapy for treatment of osteoporosis. However, patient compliance and persistence with oral weekly or monthly bisphosphonate therapy are suboptimal and may lead to reduced effectiveness. Zoledronic acid (ZOL) is an intravenous bisphosphonate that is given once yearly for the treatment of osteoporosis via a medically supervised 15-minute infusion. This ensures compliance for a full 12 months. In clinical trials, an annual infusion of ZOL 5 mg has shown sustained efficacy in reducing hip and spine fractures in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. It has also been shown to increase bone density in postmenopausal women with osteopenia (low bone mass) and in men with osteoporosis. Transient flu-like symptoms are the most common adverse effects following ZOL infusion, and these can generally be managed with acetaminophen. The availability of an intravenous bisphosphonate that ensures compliance over a long dosing interval may help to overcome barriers to efficacy resulting from poor long-term compliance with oral agents.
Keywords: fractures, intravenous bisphosphonate, osteoporosis, zoledronic acid
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