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Zometa

Last reviewed on RxList: 1/4/2019
Zometa Side Effects Center

Last reviewed on RxList 01/04/2019

Zometa (zolcdronic acid) Injection is a bisphosphonate used to treat Paget's disease, high blood levels of calcium caused by cancer (hypercalcemia of malignancy), multiple myeloma (a type of bone marrow cancer), or metastatic bone cancer. Zometa is also used to treat or prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, and to increase bone mass in men with osteoporosis. Common side effects of Zometa include:

  • dizziness,
  • headache, or
  • flu-like symptoms (such as fever, chills, muscle/joint aches),
  • cough,
  • vision problems,
  • diarrhea,
  • constipation,
  • tired feeling,
  • joint or muscle pain, or
  • redness or swelling where the needle was placed.

Zometa is administered under physician supervision. The maximum recommended dose of Zometa in hypercalcemia of malignancy or in patients with multiple myeloma and metastatic bone lesions from solid tumors is 4 mg as a single-dose intravenous infusion over no less than 15 minutes. Duration of treatment varies depending on the condition being treated. Zometa may interact with diuretics (water pills), lithium, methotrexate, pain or arthritis medicines, medicines used to treat ulcerative colitis, medicines used to prevent organ transplant rejection, IV antibiotics, antiviral medicines, or cancer medicines. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you are taking. Zometa is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm a fetus. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Breastfeeding while using this drug is not recommended.

Our Zometa (zolcdronic acid) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Zometa Consumer Information

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; wheezing, chest tightness, trouble breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • new or unusual pain in your thigh or hip;
  • jaw pain, numbness, or swelling;
  • kidney problems--little or no urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath;
  • severe joint, bone, or muscle pain; or
  • low calcium levels--muscle spasms or contractions, numbness or tingly feeling (around your mouth, or in your fingers and toes).

Serious side effects on the kidneys may be more likely in older adults.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation;
  • bone pain, muscle or joint pain;
  • fever or other flu symptoms;
  • pain in your arms or legs;
  • red or puffy eyes;
  • headache, tiredness; or
  • trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Zometa (Zoledronic Acid for Inj)

Zometa Professional Information

SIDE EFFECTS

Clinical Studies Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Hypercalcemia Of Malignancy

The safety of Zometa was studied in 185 patients with hypercalcemia of malignancy (HCM) who received either Zometa 4 mg given as a 5-minute intravenous infusion (n=86) or pamidronate 90 mg given as a 2-hour intravenous infusion (n=103). The population was aged 33-84 years, 60% male and 81% Caucasian, with breast, lung, head and neck, and renal cancer as the most common forms of malignancy. NOTE: pamidronate 90 mg was given as a 2-hour intravenous infusion. The relative safety of pamidronate 90 mg given as a 2-hour intravenous infusion compared to the same dose given as a 24-hour intravenous infusion has not been adequately studied in controlled clinical trials.

Renal Toxicity

Administration of Zometa 4 mg given as a 5-minute intravenous infusion has been shown to result in an increased risk of renal toxicity, as measured by increases in serum creatinine, which can progress to renal failure. The incidence of renal toxicity and renal failure has been shown to be reduced when Zometa 4 mg is given as a 15-minute intravenous infusion. Zometa should be administered by intravenous infusion over no less than 15 minutes [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

The most frequently observed adverse events were fever, nausea, constipation, anemia, and dyspnea (see Table 4).

Table 4 provides adverse events that were reported by 10% or more of the 189 patients treated with Zometa 4 mg or pamidronate 90 mg from the two HCM trials. Adverse events are listed regardless of presumed causality to study drug.

Table 4: Percentage of Patients with Adverse Events ≥ 10% Reported in Hypercalcemia of Malignancy Clinical Trials by Body System

  Zometa 4 mg
n (%)
Pamidronate 90 mg
n (%)
Patients Studied
Total No. of Patients Studied 86 (100) 103 (100)
Total No. of Patients with any AE 81 (94) 95 (92)
Body as a Whole
Fever 38 (44) 34 (33)
Progression of Cancer 14 (16) 21 (20)
Cardiovascular
Hypotension 9 (11) 2 (2)
Digestive
Nausea 25 (29) 28 (27)
Constipation 23 (27) 13 (13)
Diarrhea 15 (17) 17 (17)
Abdominal Pain 14 (16) 13 (13)
Vomiting 12 (14) 17 (17)
Anorexia 8 (9) 14 (14)
Hemic and Lymphatic System
Anemia 19 (22) 18 (18)
Infections
Moniliasis 10 (12) 4 (4)
Laboratory Abnormalities
Hypophosphatemia 11 (13) 2 (2)
Hypokalemia 10 (12) 16 (16)
Hypomagnesemia 9 (11) 5 (5)
Musculoskeletal
Skeletal Pain 10 (12) 10 (10)
Nervous
Insomnia 13 (15) 10 (10)
Anxiety 12 (14) 8 (8)
Confusion 11 (13) 13 (13)
Agitation 11 (13) 8 (8)
Respiratory
Dyspnea 19 (22) 20 (19)
Coughing 10 (12) 12 (12)
Urogenital
Urinary Tract Infection 12 (14) 15 (15)

The following adverse events from the two controlled multicenter HCM trials (n=189) were reported by a greater percentage of patients treated with Zometa 4 mg than with pamidronate 90 mg and occurred with a frequency of greater than or equal to 5% but less than 10%. Adverse events are listed regardless of presumed causality to study drug: asthenia, chest pain, leg edema, mucositis, dysphagia, granulocytopenia, thrombocytopenia, pancytopenia, nonspecific infection, hypocalcemia, dehydration, arthralgias, headache and somnolence.

Rare cases of rash, pruritus, and chest pain have been reported following treatment with Zometa.

Acute Phase Reaction

Within three days after Zometa administration, an acute phase reaction has been reported in patients, with symptoms including pyrexia, fatigue, bone pain and/or arthralgias, myalgias, chills, and influenza-like illness. These symptoms usually resolve within a few days. Pyrexia has been the most commonly associated symptom, occurring in 44% of patients.

Mineral And Electrolyte Abnormalities

Electrolyte abnormalities, most commonly hypocalcemia, hypophosphatemia, and hypomagnesemia, can occur with bisphosphonate use.

Grade 3 and Grade 4 laboratory abnormalities for serum creatinine, serum calcium, serum phosphorus, and serum magnesium observed in two clinical trials of Zometa in patients with HCM are shown in Table 5 and 6.

Table 5: Grade 3 Laboratory Abnormalities for Serum Creatinine, Serum Calcium, Serum Phosphorus, and Serum Magnesium in Two Clinical Trials in Patients with HCM

Laboratory Parameter Grade 3
Zometa 4 mg
n/N(%)
Pamidronate 90 mg
n/N(%)
Serum Creatinine1 2/86 (2%) 3/100 (3%)
Hypocalcemia2 1/86 (1%) 2/100 (2%)
Hypophosphatemia3 36/70 (51%) 27/81 (33%)
Hypomagnesemia4 0/71 0/84

Table 6: Grade 4 Laboratory Abnormalities for Serum Creatinine, Serum Calcium, Serum Phosphorus, and Serum Magnesium in Two Clinical Trials in Patients with HCM

  Grade 4
Zometa 4 mg
Pamidronate 90 mg
n/N (%) n/N (%)
Serum Creatinine1 0/86 1/100 (1%)
Hypocalcemia2 0/86 0/100
Hypophosphatemia3 1/70 (1%) 4/81 (5%)
Hypomagnesemia4 0/71 1/84 (1%)
1 Grade 3 (greater than 3x Upper Limit of Normal); Grade 4 (greater than 6x Upper Limit of Normal)
2 Grade 3 (less than 7 mg/dL); Grade 4 (less than 6 mg/dL)
3 Grade 3 (less than 2 mg/dL); Grade 4 (less than 1 mg/dL) 4 Grade 3 (less than 0.8 mEq/L); Grade
4 (less than 0.5 mEq/L)

Injection Site Reactions

Local reactions at the infusion site, such as redness or swelling, were observed infrequently. In most cases, no specific treatment is required and the symptoms subside after 24-48 hours.

Ocular Adverse Events

Ocular inflammation such as uveitis and scleritis can occur with bisphosphonate use, including Zometa. No cases of iritis, scleritis, or uveitis were reported during these clinical trials. However, cases have been seen in postmarketing use [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].

Multiple Myeloma And Bone Metastases Of Solid Tumors

The safety analysis includes patients treated in the core and extension phases of the trials. The analysis includes the 2042 patients treated with Zometa 4 mg, pamidronate 90 mg, or placebo in the three controlled multicenter bone metastases trials, including 969 patients completing the efficacy phase of the trial, and 619 patients that continued in the safety extension phase. Only 347 patients completed the extension phases and were followed for 2 years (or 21 months for the other solid tumor patients). The median duration of exposure for safety analysis for Zometa 4 mg (core plus extension phases) was 12.8 months for breast cancer and multiple myeloma, 10.8 months for prostate cancer, and 4.0 months for other solid tumors.

Table 7 describes adverse events that were reported by 10% or more of patients. Adverse events are listed regardless of presumed causality to study drug.

Table 7: Percentage of Patients with Adverse Events ≥ 10% Reported in Three Bone Metastases Clinical Trials by Body System

  Zometa 4 mg n (%) Pamidronate 90 mg n (%) Placebo n (%)
Patients Studied
Total No. of Patients 1031 (100) 556 (100) 455 (100)
Total No. of Patients with any AE 1015 (98) 548 (99) 445 (98)
Blood and Lymphatic
Anemia 344 (33) 175 (32) 128 (28)
Neutropenia 124 (12) 83 (15) 35 (8)
Thrombocytopenia 102 (10) 53 (10) 20 (4)
Gastrointestinal
Nausea 476 (46) 266 (48) 171 (38)
Vomiting 333 (32) 183 (33) 122 (27)
Constipation 320 (31) 162 (29) 174 (38)
Diarrhea 249 (24) 162 (29) 83 (18)
Abdominal Pain 143 (14) 81 (15) 48 (11)
Dyspepsia 105 (10) 74 (13) 31 (7)
Stomatitis 86 (8) 65 (12) 14 (3)
Sore Throat 82 (8) 61 (11) 17 (4)
General Disorders and Administration Site
Fatigue 398 (39) 240 (43) 130 (29)
Pyrexia 328 (32) 172 (31) 89 (20)
Weakness 252 (24) 108 (19) 114 (25)
Edema Lower Limb 215 (21) 126 (23) 84 (19)
Rigors 112 (11) 62 (11) 28 (6)
Infections
Urinary Tract Infection 124 (12) 50 (9) 41 (9)
Upper Respiratory Tract Infection 101 (10) 82 (15) 30 (7)
Metabolism
Anorexia 231 (22) 81 (15) 105 (23)
Weight Decreased 164 (16) 50 (9) 61 (13)
Dehydration 145 (14) 60 (11) 59 (13)
Appetite Decreased 130 (13) 48 (9) 45 (10)
Musculoskeletal
Bone Pain 569 (55) 316 (57) 284 (62)
Myalgia 239 (23) 143 (26) 74 (16)
Arthralgia 216 (21) 131 (24) 73 (16)
Back Pain 156 (15) 106 (19) 40 (9)
Pain in Limb 143 (14) 84 (15) 52 (11)
Neoplasms
Malignant Neoplasm Aggravated 205 (20) 97 (17) 89 (20)
Nervous
Headache 191 (19) 149 (27) 50 (11)
Dizziness (excluding vertigo) 180 (18) 91 (16) 58 (13)
Insomnia 166 (16) 111 (20) 73 (16)
Paresthesia 149 (15) 85 (15) 35 (8)
Hypoesthesia 127 (12) 65 (12) 43 (10)
Psychiatric
Depression 146 (14) 95 (17) 49 (11)
Anxiety 112 (11) 73 (13) 37 (8)
Confusion Respiratory 74 (7) 39 (7) 47 (10)
Dyspnea 282 (27) 155 (28) 107 (24)
Cough 224 (22) 129 (23) 65 (14)
Skin
Alopecia 125 (12) 80 (14) 36 (8)
Dermatitis 114 (11) 74 (13) 38 (8)

Grade 3 and Grade 4 laboratory abnormalities for serum creatinine, serum calcium, serum phosphorus, and serum magnesium observed in three clinical trials of Zometa in patients with bone metastases are shown in Tables 8 and 9.

Table 8: Grade 3 Laboratory Abnormalities for Serum Creatinine, Serum Calcium, Serum Phosphorus, and Serum Magnesium in Three Clinical Trials in Patients with Bone Metastases

Laboratory Parameter Zometa 4 mg Grade 3 Pamidronate 90 mg Placebo
n/N (%) n/N (%) n/N (%)
Serum Creatinine1* 7/529 (1%) 4/268 (2%) 4/241 (2%)
Hypocalcemia2 6/973 ( < 1%) 4/536 ( < 1%) 0/415 —
Hypophosphatemia3 115/973 (12%) 38/537 (7%) 14/415 (3%)
Hypermagnesemia4 19/971 (2%) 2/535 ( < 1%) 8/415 (2%)
Hypomagnesemia5 1/971 ( < 1%) 0/535 — 1/415 ( < 1%)
1 Grade 3 (greater than 3x Upper Limit of Normal); Grade 4 (greater than 6x Upper Limit of Normal)
* Serum creatinine data for all patients randomized after the 15-minute infusion amendment
2 Grade 3 (less than 7 mg/dL); Grade 4 (less than 6 mg/dL)
3 Grade 3 (less than 2 mg/dL); Grade 4 (less than 1 mg/dL)
4 Grade 3 (greater than 3 mEq/L); Grade 4 (greater than 8 mEq/L)
5 Grade 3 (less than 0.9 mEq/L); Grade 4 (less than 0.7 mEq/L)

Table 9: Grade 4 Laboratory Abnormalities for Serum Creatinine, Serum Calcium, Serum Phosphorus, and Serum Magnesium in Three Clinical Trials in Patients with Bone Metastases

Laboratory Parameter Zometa 4 mg Grade 4 Pamidronate 90 mg Placebo
n/N (%) n/N (%) n/N (%)
Serum Creatinine1* 2/529 ( < 1%) 1/268 ( < 1%) 0/241 —
Hypocalcemia2 7/973 ( < 1%) 3/536 ( < 1%) 2/415 ( < 1%)
Hypophosphatemia3 5/973 ( < 1%) 0/537 — 1/415 ( < 1%)
Hypermagnesemia4 0/971 — 0/535 — 2/415 ( < 1%)
Hypomagnesemia5 2/971 ( < 1%) 1/535 ( < 1%) 0/415 —
1 Grade 3 (greater than 3x Upper Limit of Normal); Grade 4 (greater than 6x Upper Limit of Normal)
* Serum creatinine data for all patients randomized after the 15-minute infusion amendment
2 Grade 3 (less than 7 mg/dL); Grade 4 (less than 6 mg/dL)
3 Grade 3 (less than 2 mg/dL); Grade 4 (less than 1 mg/dL)
4 Grade 3 (greater than 3 mEq/L); Grade 4 (greater than 8 mEq/L)
5 Grade 3 (less than 0.9 mEq/L); Grade 4 (less than 0.7 mEq/L)

Among the less frequently occurring adverse events (less than 15% of patients), rigors, hypokalemia, influenza-like illness, and hypocalcemia showed a trend for more events with bisphosphonate administration (Zometa 4 mg and pamidronate groups) compared to the placebo group.

Less common adverse events reported more often with Zometa 4 mg than pamidronate included decreased weight, which was reported in 16% of patients in the Zometa 4 mg group compared with 9% in the pamidronate group. Decreased appetite was reported in slightly more patients in the Zometa 4 mg group (13%) compared with the pamidronate (9%) and placebo (10%) groups, but the clinical significance of these small differences is not clear.

Renal Toxicity

In the bone metastases trials, renal deterioration was defined as an increase of 0.5 mg/dL for patients with normal baseline creatinine (less than 1.4 mg/dL) or an increase of 1.0 mg/dL for patients with an abnormal baseline creatinine (greater than or equal to1.4 mg/dL). The following are data on the incidence of renal deterioration in patients receiving Zometa 4 mg over 15 minutes in these trials (see Table 10).

Table 10: Percentage of Patients with Treatment-Emergent Renal Function Deterioration by Baseline Serum Creatinine*

Patient Population/Baseline Creatinine
Multiple Myeloma and Breast Cancer Zometa 4 mg Pamidronate 90 mg
n/N (%) n/N (%)
Normal 27/246 (11%) 23/246 (9%)
Abnormal 2/26 (8%) 2/22 (9%)
Total 29/272 (11%) 25/268 (9%)
Solid Tumors Zometa 4 mg Placebo
  n/N (%) n/N (%)
Normal 17/154 (11%) 10/143 (7%)
Abnormal 1/11 (9%) 1/20 (5%)
Total 18/165 (11%) 11/163 (7%)
Prostate Cancer Zometa 4mg Placebo
  n/N (%) n/N (%)
Normal 12/82 (15%) 8/68 (12%)
Abnormal 4/10 (40%) 2/10 (20%)
Total 16/92 (17%) 10/78 (13%)
*Table includes only patients who were randomized to the trial after a protocol amendment that lengthened the infusion duration of Zometa to 15 minutes.

The risk of deterioration in renal function appeared to be related to time on study, whether patients were receiving Zometa (4 mg over 15 minutes), placebo, or pamidronate.

In the trials and in postmarketing experience, renal deterioration, progression to renal failure, and dialysis have occurred in patients with normal and abnormal baseline renal function, including patients treated with 4 mg infused over a 15-minute period. There have been instances of this occurring after the initial Zometa dose.

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been reported during postapproval use of Zometa. Because these reports are from a population of uncertain size and are subject to confounding factors, it is not possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Osteonecrosis Of The Jaw

Cases of osteonecrosis (primarily involving the jaw but also of other anatomical sites including hip, femur and external auditory canal) have been reported predominantly in cancer patients treated with intravenous bisphosphonates including Zometa. Many of these patients were also receiving chemotherapy and corticosteroids which may be a risk factor for ONJ. Caution is advised when Zometa is administered with anti-angiogenic drugs as an increased incidence of ONJ has been observed with concomitant use of these drugs. Data suggests a greater frequency of reports of ONJ in certain cancers, such as advanced breast cancer and multiple myeloma. The majority of the reported cases are in cancer patients following invasive dental procedures, such as tooth extraction. It is therefore prudent to avoid invasive dental procedures as recovery may be prolonged [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Acute Phase Reaction

Within three days after Zometa administration, an acute phase reaction has been reported, with symptoms including pyrexia, fatigue, bone pain and/or arthralgias, myalgias, chills, influenza-like illness and arthritis with subsequent joint swelling; these symptoms usually resolve within three days of onset, but resolution could take up to 7 to 14 days. However, some of these symptoms have been reported to persist for a longer duration.

Musculoskeletal Pain

Severe and occasionally incapacitating bone, joint, and/or muscle pain has been reported with bisphosphonate use [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Atypical Subtrochanteric And Diaphyseal Femoral Fractures

Atypical subtrochanteric and diaphyseal femoral fractures have been reported with bisphosphonate therapy, including Zometa [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Ocular Adverse Events

Cases of uveitis, scleritis, episcleritis, conjunctivitis, iritis, and orbital inflammation including orbital edema have been reported during postmarketing use. In some cases, symptoms resolved with topical steroids.

Hypersensitivity Reactions

There have been rare reports of allergic reaction with intravenous zoledronic acid including angioedema and bronchoconstriction. Very rare cases of anaphylactic reaction/shock have been reported. Cases of Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis have also been reported.

Additional adverse reactions reported in postmarketing use include:

CNS: taste disturbance, hyperesthesia, tremor; Special Senses: blurred vision; uveitis; Gastrointestinal: dry mouth; Skin: Increased sweating; Musculoskeletal: muscle cramps; Cardiovascular: hypertension, bradycardia, hypotension (associated with syncope or circulatory collapse primarily in patients with underlying risk factors); Respiratory: bronchospasms, interstitial lung disease (ILD) with positive rechallenge; Renal: hematuria, proteinuria; General Disorders and Administration Site: weight increase, influenza-like illness (pyrexia, asthenia, fatigue or malaise) persisting for greater than 30 days; Laboratory Abnormalities: hyperkalemia, hypernatremia, hypocalcemia (cardiac arrhythmias and neurologic adverse events including seizures, tetany, and numbness have been reported due to severe hypocalcemia).

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Zometa (Zoledronic Acid for Inj)

Related Resources for Zometa

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Read the Zometa User Reviews »

© Zometa Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Zometa Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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