Reclast

What is Reclast?

Reclast (zoledronic acid, sometimes called zoledronate) is in a group of medicines called bisphosphonates (bis FOS fo nayts). Zoledronic acid inhibits the release of calcium from bones.

Reclast is used to treat Paget's disease in men and women.

Reclast is also used to treat or prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, and to increase bone mass in men with osteoporosis. It is used to treat or prevent osteoporosis in people who will be taking certain steroid medicines for 12 months or longer.

Reclast may also be used for other purposes not listed here.

Important information about Reclast

Do not receive Reclast without telling your doctor if you have had an allergic reaction to zoledronic acid or similar medicine such as alendronate (Fosamax), etidronate (Didronel), ibandronate (Boniva), pamidronate (Aredia), risedronate (Actonel), or tiludronate (Skelid). Do not use Reclast if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.

Your doctor may recommend you have a dental exam for preventive tooth and gum care before you start your treatment with Reclast. This is especially important if you have cancer, if you are undergoing chemotherapy or using steroids, or if you have poor dental health.

Some people using medicines similar to zoledronic acid have developed bone loss in the jaw, also called osteonecrosis of the jaw. Symptoms of this condition may include jaw pain, swelling, numbness, loose teeth, gum infection, or slow healing after injury or surgery involving the gums. You may be more likely to develop osteonecrosis of the jaw if you have cancer or have been treated with chemotherapy, radiation, or steroids. Other conditions associated with osteonecrosis of the jaw include blood clotting disorders, anemia (low red blood cells), and pre-existing dental problems.

Avoid having any type of dental surgery while you are being treated with Reclast. It may take longer than normal for you to recover.

Before receiving Reclast

You should not receive Reclast if you are allergic to zoledronic acid or similar medicine such as alendronate (Fosamax), etidronate (Didronel), ibandronate (Boniva), pamidronate (Aredia), risedronate (Actonel), or tiludronate (Skelid).

You should also not receive Reclast if you have:

  • low levels of calcium in your blood; or
  • if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Zometa and Reclast are two different brands of zoledronic acid. You should not be treated with Reclast if you are already receiving Zometa. Before receiving a Reclast injection, tell your doctor if you are already being treated with Zometa.

To make sure you can safely use Reclast, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • aspirin-sensitive asthma;
  • a thyroid or parathyroid disorder;
  • malabsorption syndrome (an inability to absorb food and nutrients properly);
  • a history of surgical removal of part of your intestine;
  • bone cancer; or
  • kidney disease.

Your doctor may recommend you have a dental exam for preventive tooth and gum care before you start your treatment with Reclast. This is especially important if you have cancer, if you are undergoing chemotherapy or using steroids, or if you have poor dental health.

Some people using medicines similar to zoledronic acid have developed bone loss in the jaw, also called osteonecrosis of the jaw. Symptoms of this condition may include jaw pain, swelling, numbness, loose teeth, gum infection, or slow healing after injury or surgery involving the gums.

You may be more likely to develop osteonecrosis of the jaw if you have cancer or have been treated with chemotherapy, radiation, or steroids. Other conditions associated with osteonecrosis of the jaw include blood clotting disorders, anemia (low red blood cells), and dental surgery or pre-existing dental problems.

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use Reclast if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. Zoledronic acid can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not receive Reclast without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How is Reclast given?

Reclast is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. Reclast must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take at least 15 minutes to complete.

Reclast is sometimes given only once per year. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Drink at least 2 glasses of water within a few hours before your injection to keep from getting dehydrated.

Your doctor may want you to take a calcium and/or vitamin D supplement while you are being treated with Reclast. Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about the type and strength of calcium to take.

To be sure Reclast is helping your condition and is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested often. Your kidney function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your Reclast injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include numbness or tingling in your hands and feet, muscle stiffness, spasms in the muscles of your face, uneven heartbeats, and wheezing or trouble breathing.

What should I avoid while receiving Reclast?

Avoid having any type of dental surgery while you are being treated with Reclast. It may take longer than normal for you to recover.

Reclast side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Reclast: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • muscle spasms, numb or tingly feeling (especially around your mouth);
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • pale skin, easy bruising, unusual weakness;
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • severe joint, bone, or muscle pain;
  • new or unusual pain in your thigh or hip; or
  • bronchospasm (wheezing, chest tightness, trouble breathing).

Less serious Reclast side effects may include:

  • cough;
  • vision problems;
  • loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting;
  • diarrhea, constipation;
  • headache, tired feeling;
  • mild joint or muscle pain; or
  • redness or swelling where the needle was placed.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

What other drugs will affect Reclast?

Before receiving Reclast, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • a diuretic (water pill);
  • an antibiotic such as amikacin (Amikin), gentamicin (Garamycin), kanamycin (Kantrex), neomycin (Mycifradin, Neo-Fradin, Neo-Tab), streptomycin, tobramycin (Nebcin, Tobi);
  • other medicines that can harm your kidneys, such as pentamidine (Nebupent), tacrolimus (Prograf), amphotericin B (Fungizone, AmBisome, Amphotec, Abelcet), capreomycin (Capastat), rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifater), vancomycin (Vancocin, Vancoled), acyclovir (Zovirax), adefovir (Hepsera), cidofovir (Vistide), or foscarnet (Foscavir);
  • cancer medicine such as aldesleukin (Proleukin), carmustine (BiCNU, Gliadel), cisplatin (Platinol), ifosfamide (Ifex), oxaliplatin (Eloxatin), streptozocin (Zanosar), thalidomide (Thalomid), or tretinoin (Vesanoid); or
  • a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Naprelan, Treximet), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Arthrotec, Cambia, Cataflam, Voltaren, Flector Patch, Pennsaid, Solareze), indomethacin (Indocin), meloxicam (Mobic), and others.

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Reclast. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.