"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today warned patients and health care providers about the possible risk of atypical thigh bone (femoral) fracture in patients who take bisphosphonates, a class of drugs used to prevent and treat osteoporosis."...
Drug Products with Same Active Ingredient
Reclast contains the same active ingredient found in Zometa, used for oncology indications, and a patient being treated with Zometa should not be treated with Reclast.
Hypocalcemia and Mineral Metabolism
Pre-existing hypocalcemia and disturbances of mineral metabolism (e.g., hypoparathyroidism, thyroid surgery, parathyroid surgery; malabsorption syndromes, excision of small intestine) must be effectively treated before initiating therapy with Reclast. Clinical monitoring of calcium and mineral levels (phosphorus and magnesium) is highly recommended for these patients [see CONTRAINDICATIONS].
Hypocalcemia following Reclast administration is a significant risk in Paget's disease. All patients should be instructed about the symptoms of hypocalcemia and the importance of calcium and vitamin D supplementation in maintaining serum calcium levels [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, ADVERSE REACTIONS, PATIENT INFORMATION].
All osteoporosis patients should be instructed on the importance of calcium and vitamin D supplementation in maintaining serum calcium levels [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, ADVERSE REACTIONS, PATIENT INFORMATION].
A single dose of Reclast should not exceed 5 mg and the duration of infusion should be no less than 15 minutes [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
Reclast is contraindicated in patients with creatinine clearance less than 35 mL/min and in those with evidence of acute renal impairment [see CONTRAINDICATIONS]. If history or physical signs suggest dehydration, Reclast therapy should be withheld until normovolemic status has been achieved [see Post-Marketing Experience].
Reclast should be used with caution in patients with chronic renal impairment. Acute renal impairment, including renal failure, has been observed following the administration of zoledronic acid, especially in patients with pre-existing renal compromise, advanced age, concomitant nephrotoxic medications, concomitant diuretic therapy, or severe dehydration occurring before or after Reclast administration. Acute renal failure (ARF) has been observed in patients after a single administration. Rare reports of hospitalization and/or dialysis or fatal outcome occurred in patients with underlying moderate to severe renal impairment or with any of the risk factors described in this section [see Post-Marketing Experience]. Renal impairment may lead to increased exposure of concomitant medications and/or their metabolites that are primarily renally excreted [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
Creatinine clearance should be calculated based on actual body weight using Cockcroft-Gault formula before each Reclast dose. Transient increase in serum creatinine may be greater in patients with impaired renal function; interim monitoring of creatinine clearance should be performed in at-risk patients. Elderly patients and those receiving diuretic therapy are at increased risk of acute renal failure. These patients should have their fluid status assessed and be appropriately hydrated prior to administration of Reclast. Reclast should be used with caution with other nephrotoxic drugs [see DRUG INTERACTIONS]. Consider monitoring creatinine clearance in patients at-risk for ARF who are taking concomitant medications that are primarily excreted by the kidney [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
Osteonecrosis of the Jaw
Osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) has been reported in patients treated with bisphosphonates, including zoledronic acid. Most cases have been in cancer patients treated with intravenous bisphosphonates undergoing dental procedures. Some cases have occurred in patients with postmenopausal osteoporosis treated with either oral or intravenous bisphosphonates. A routine oral examination should be performed by the prescriber prior to initiation of bisphosphonate treatment. A dental examination with appropriate preventive dentistry should be considered prior to treatment with bisphosphonates in patients with a history of concomitant risk factors (e.g., cancer, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, corticosteroids, poor oral hygiene, pre-existing dental disease or infection, anemia, coagulopathy).
While on treatment, patients with concomitant risk factors should avoid invasive dental procedures if possible. For patients who develop ONJ while on bisphosphonate therapy, dental surgery may exacerbate the condition. For patients requiring dental procedures, there are no data available to suggest whether discontinuation of bisphosphonate treatment reduces the risk of ONJ. The clinical judgment of the treating physician should guide the management plan of each patient based on individual benefit/risk assessment [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].
Atypical Subtrochanteric and Diaphyseal Femoral Fractures
Atypical, low-energy, or low trauma fractures of the femoral shaft have been reported in bisphosphonate-treated patients. These fractures can occur anywhere in the femoral shaft from just below the lesser trochanter to above the supracondylar flare and are transverse or short oblique in orientation without evidence of comminution. Causality has not been established as these fractures also occur in osteoporotic patients who have not been treated with bisphosphonates.
Atypical femur fractures most commonly occur with minimal or no trauma to the affected area. They may be bilateral and many patients report prodromal pain in the affected area, usually presenting as dull, aching thigh pain, weeks to months before a complete fracture occurs. A number of reports note that patients were also receiving treatment with glucocorticoids (e.g., prednisone) at the time of fracture.
Any patient with a history of bisphosphonate exposure who presents with thigh or groin pain should be suspected of having an atypical fracture and should be evaluated to rule out an incomplete femur fracture. Patients presenting with an atypical femur fracture should also be assessed for symptoms and signs of fracture in the contralateral limb. Interruption of bisphosphonate therapy should be considered, pending a risk/benefit assessment, on an individual basis.
RECLAST SHOULD NOT BE USED DURING PREGNANCY. Reclast may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. If the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential harm to the fetus. Women of childbearing potential should be advised to avoid becoming pregnant while on Reclast therapy [see Use in Specific Populations].
In post-marketing experience, severe and occasionally incapacitating bone, joint, and/or muscle pain have been infrequently reported in patients taking bisphosphonates, including Reclast. The time to onset of symptoms varied from one day to several months after starting the drug. Consider withholding future Reclast treatment if severe symptoms develop. Most patients had relief of symptoms after stopping. A subset had recurrence of symptoms when rechallenged with the same drug or another bisphosphonate [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].
Patients with Asthma
While not observed in clinical trials with Reclast, there have been reports of bronchoconstriction in aspirin-sensitive patients receiving bisphosphonates. Use Reclast with caution in aspirin-sensitive patients.
Patient Counseling Information
See FDA-Approved Medication Guide
Information for Patients
Patients should be made aware that Reclast contains the same active ingredient (zoledronic acid) found in Zometa®, and that patients being treated with Zometa should not be treated with Reclast. Reclast is contraindicated in patients with creatinine clearance less than 35 mL/min [see CONTRAINDICATIONS].
Before being given Reclast, patients should tell their doctor if they have kidney problems and what medications they are taking.
Reclast should not be given if the patient is pregnant or plans to become pregnant, or if she is breast-feeding [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
There have been reports of bronchoconstriction in aspirin-sensitive patients receiving bisphosphonates, including Reclast. Before being given Reclast, patients should tell their doctor if they are aspirin-sensitive.
If the patient had surgery to remove some or all of the parathyroid glands in their neck, or had sections of their intestine removed, or are unable to take calcium supplements they should tell their doctor.
Reclast is given as an infusion into a vein by a nurse or a doctor, and the infusion time must not be less than 15 minutes.
On the day of treatment the patient should eat and drink normally, which includes drinking at least 2 glasses of fluid such as water within a few hours prior to the infusion, as directed by their doctor, before receiving Reclast.
After getting Reclast it is strongly recommended patients with Paget's disease take calcium in divided doses (for example, 2 to 4 times a day) for a total of 1500 mg calcium a day to prevent low blood calcium levels. This is especially important for the two weeks after getting Reclast [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Adequate calcium and vitamin D intake is important in patients with osteoporosis and the current recommended daily intake of calcium is 1200 mg and vitamin D is 800 international units – 1000 international units daily. All patients should be instructed on the importance of calcium and vitamin D supplementation in maintaining serum calcium levels.
Patients should be aware of the most commonly associated side effects of therapy. Patients may experience one or more side effects that could include: fever, flu-like symptoms, myalgia, arthralgia, and headache. Most of these side effects occur within the first 3 days following the dose of Reclast. They usually resolve within 3 days of onset but may last for up to 7 to 14 days. Patients should consult their physician if they have questions or if these symptoms persist. The incidence of these symptoms decreased markedly with subsequent doses of Reclast.
Administration of acetaminophen following Reclast administration may reduce the incidence of these symptoms.
Physicians should inform their patients that there have been reports of persistent pain and/or a non-healing sore of the mouth or jaw, primarily in patients treated with bisphosphonates for other illnesses. If they experience these symptoms, they should inform their physician or dentist.
Severe and occasionally incapacitating bone, joint, and/or muscle pain have been infrequently reported in patients taking bisphosphonates, including Reclast. Consider withholding future Reclast treatment if severe symptoms develop.
Atypical femur fractures in patients on bisphosphonate therapy have been reported; patients with thigh or groin pain should be evaluated to rule out a femoral fracture.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Standard lifetime carcinogenicity bioassays were conducted in mice and rats. Mice were given daily oral doses of zoledronic acid of 0.1, 0.5, or 2.0 mg/kg/day. There was an increased incidence of Harderian gland adenomas in males and females in all treatment groups (at doses greater than or equal to 0.002 times the human intravenous dose of 5 mg, based on a mg/m² comparison). Rats were given daily oral doses of zoledronic acid of 0.1, 0.5, or 2.0 mg/kg/day. No increased incidence of tumors was observed (at doses less than or equal to 0.1 times the human intravenous dose of 5 mg, based on a mg/m² comparison).
Zoledronic acid was not genotoxic in the Ames bacterial mutagenicity assay, in the Chinese hamster ovary cell assay, or in the Chinese hamster gene mutation assay, with or without metabolic activation. Zoledronic acid was not genotoxic in the in vivo rat micronucleus assay.
Impairment of Fertility
Female rats were given daily subcutaneous doses of zoledronic acid of 0.01, 0.03, or 0.1 mg/kg beginning 15 days before mating and continuing through gestation. Effects observed in the high-dose group (equivalent to human systemic exposure following a 5 mg intravenous dose, based on an AUC comparison) included inhibition of ovulation and a decrease in the number of pregnant rats. Effects observed in both the mid-dose group and high-dose group (0.3 to 1 times human systemic exposure following a 5 mg intravenous dose, based on an AUC comparison) included an increase in pre-implantation losses and a decrease in the number of implantations and live fetuses.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category D [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
RECLAST SHOULD NOT BE USED DURING PREGNANCY. If the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential harm to the fetus. Women of childbearing potential should be advised to avoid becoming pregnant while receiving Reclast.
Bisphosphonates are incorporated into the bone matrix, from where they are gradually released over periods of weeks to years. The extent of bisphosphonate incorporation into adult bone, and hence, the amount available for release back into the systemic circulation, is directly related to the total dose and duration of bisphosphonate use. Although there are no data on fetal risk in humans, bisphosphonates do cause fetal harm in animals, and animal data suggest that uptake of bisphosphonates into fetal bone is greater than into maternal bone. Therefore, there is a theoretical risk of fetal harm (e.g., skeletal and other abnormalities) if a woman becomes pregnant after completing a course of bisphosphonate therapy. The impact of variables such as time between cessation of bisphosphonate therapy to conception space, the particular bisphosphonate used, and the route of administration (intravenous versus oral) on this risk has not been established.
In female rats given daily subcutaneous doses of zoledronic acid beginning 15 days before mating and continuing through gestation, the number of stillbirths was increased and survival of neonates was decreased at approximately greater than or equal to 0.3 times the anticipated human systemic exposure following a 5 mg intravenous dose (based on an AUC comparison). Adverse maternal effects were observed in all dose groups at greater than or equal to 0.1 times the human systemic exposure following a 5 mg intravenous dose (based on an AUC comparison) and included dystocia and periparturient mortality in pregnant rats allowed to deliver. Maternal mortality was considered related to drug-induced inhibition of skeletal calcium mobilization, resulting in periparturient hypocalcemia. This appears to be a bisphosphonate class effect.
In pregnant rats given daily subcutaneous dose of zoledronic acid during gestation, adverse fetal effects were observed at about 2 and 4 times human systemic exposure following a 5 mg intravenous dose (based on an AUC comparison). These adverse effects included increases in pre- and post-implantation losses, decreases in viable fetuses, and fetal skeletal, visceral, and external malformations.
In pregnant rabbits given daily subcutaneous doses of zoledronic acid during gestation at doses less than or equal to 0.4 times the anticipated human systemic exposure following a 5 mg intravenous dose (based on a mg/m² comparison) no adverse fetal effects were observed. Maternal mortality and abortion occurred in all treatment groups (at doses greater than or equal to 0.04 times the human 5 mg intravenous dose, based on a mg/m² comparison). Adverse maternal effects were associated with, and may have been caused by, drug-induced hypocalcemia [see Nonclinical Toxicology].
It is not known whether Reclast is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, and because Reclast binds to bone long-term, Reclast should not be administered to a nursing woman.
Reclast is not indicated for use in children.
The safety and effectiveness of zoledronic acid was studied in a one-year active controlled trial of 152 pediatric subjects (74 receiving zoledronic acid). The enrolled population was subjects with severe osteogenesis imperfecta, aged 1-17 years, 55% male, 84% Caucasian, with a mean lumbar spine BMD of 0.431 gm/cm², which is 2.7 standard deviations below the mean for age-matched controls (BMD Z-score of -2.7). At one year, increases in BMD were observed in the zoledronic acid treatment group. However, changes in BMD in individual patients with severe osteogenesis imperfecta did not necessarily correlate with the risk for fracture or the incidence or severity of chronic bone pain. The adverse events observed with zoledronic acid use in children did not raise any new safety findings beyond those previously seen in adults treated for Paget's disease of bone and treatment of osteoporosis including osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) and renal impairment. However, adverse reactions seen more commonly in pediatric patients included pyrexia (61%), arthralgia (26%), hypocalcemia (22%) and headache (22%). These reactions, excluding arthralgia, occurred most frequently within three days after the first infusion and became less common with repeat dosing. No cases of ONJ or renal impairment were observed in this study. Because of long-term retention in bone, Reclast should only be used in children if the potential benefit outweighs the potential risk.
Plasma zoledronic acid concentration data was obtained from 10 patients with severe osteogenesis imperfecta (4 in the age group of 3-8 years and 6 in the age group of 9-17 years) infused with 0.05 mg/kg dose over 30 minutes. Mean Cmax and AUC(0-last) was 167 ng/mL and 220 ng.h/mL respectively. The plasma concentration time profile of zoledronic acid in pediatric patients represent a multi-exponential decline, as observed in adult cancer patients at an approximately equivalent mg/kg dose.
The combined osteoporosis trials included 4863 Reclast-treated patients who were at least 65 years of age, while 2101 patients were at least 75 years old. No overall differences in efficacy or safety were observed between patients under 75 years of age with those at least 75 years of age, except that the acute phase reactions occurred less frequently in the older patients.
Of the patients receiving Reclast in the osteoporosis study in men, glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis, and Paget's disease studies, 83, 116, and 132 patients, respectively were 65 years of age or over, while 24, 29, and 68 patients, respectively were at least 75 years of age.
However, because decreased renal function occurs more commonly in the elderly, special care should be taken to monitor renal function.
Reclast is contraindicated in patients with creatinine clearance less than 35 mL/min and in those with evidence of acute renal impairment. There are no safety or efficacy data to support the adjustment of the Reclast dose based on baseline renal function. Therefore, no dosage adjustment is required in patients with a creatinine clearance of greater than or equal to 35 mL/min [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. Risk of acute renal failure may increase with underlying renal disease and dehydration secondary to fever, sepsis, gastrointestinal losses, diuretic therapy, advanced age, etc. [see Post-Marketing Experience].
Reclast is not metabolized in the liver. No clinical data are available for use of Reclast in patients with hepatic impairment.
Last reviewed on RxList: 5/6/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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