What is Zometa?
Zometa, also known as zoledronic acid, is part of a class of medicines known as bisphosphonates.
Zometa is made by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.
How is Zometa used?Zometa is used to prevent bone complications, like fractures and spinal cord compression, that are commonly seen in patients with multiple myeloma.
What types of patients can benefit from Zometa?Zometa has been studied in patients with multiple myeloma who have evidence of bone damage (for example, bones that are weaker, thinner, or have holes in them).
How does Zometa work?Zometa works by interfering with cells that break down bone. These cells are abnormally active in patients with multiple myeloma, and interfering with them helps to reduce bone complications, like fractures and spinal cord compression.
How is Zometa administered?Zometa is given as an injection into the bloodstream (intravenously, IV). The recommended dose of Zometa for patients with multiple myeloma who have good kidney function is 4 mg every 3 to 4 weeks. For patients with reduced kidney function, the dose is reduced based on the level of kidney function.
What are Zometa side effects?In clinical studies, the most common side effects seen with Zometa included:
- Low red blood cells
- Bone pain
- Shortness of breath
- Severely low blood calcium
- Bone tissue death in the jaw (due to lack of blood supply)
- Severe incapacitating pain in the bones, joints, and/or muscles
- Thigh bone fractures
Patients who should not take Zometa include:
- Those with low blood calcium
- Those with severe renal impairment
- Those who take Reclast for osteoporosis
- Women who are pregnant or who plan to become pregnant (due to risk of fetal harm)
How are side effects of Zometa managed?Your doctor will monitor your calcium, phosphate, magnesium, and creatinine levels while you are taking Zometa. You will also take calcium and vitamin D supplements while taking Zometa.
What have Zometa clinical trials shown?The efficacy of Zometa for the prevention of skeletal-related events (for example, fractures or spinal cord compression) in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma was shown in a phase 3 clinical trial in which 1,648 patients with multiple myeloma or breast cancer participated. One third of the patients received 4 mg of Zometa, one third of patients received 8 mg of Zometa, and the final third received 90 mg pamidronate (another bisphosphonate). This study showed that Zometa performed as well as pamidronate in delaying time to first skeletal-related event (the median time to skeletal-related events was 373 days and 363 days, respectively).
Interested in learning more about Zometa? Talk to an MMRF patient navigator.
Drafted November 2020