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Zometa 4 mg (zoledronic acid for injection) has been approved for the treatment of hypercalcemia of malignancy (HCM),
Zometa 4 mg (zoledronic acid for injection) has been approved for the treatment of hypercalcemia of malignancy (HCM), a common life-threatening metabolic complication associated with cancer. Zometa is an intravenous bisphosphonate that works by inhibiting the breakdown of bone (resorption). Zometa is used to prevent skeletal fractures in patients with cancers such as multiple myeloma and prostate cancer, as well as for treating osteoporosis.It can also be used to treat hypercalcemia of malignancy and can be helpful for treating pain from bone metastases.
HCM affects more than 10% of all cancer patients and occurs most frequently with cancer, multiple myeloma and non-small cell lung cancer. This condition occurs when factors made by cancer cells over-stimulate osteoclasts, which are cells responsible for bone resorption. The over-stimulation results in an increased rate of bone breakdown and the release of excess calcium into the bloodstream. The kidneys are unable to cope with the excessively high calcium levels and the calcium remains in the blood, leading to complications such as dehydration, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, confusion and coma.
The principle pharmacologic action of zoledronic acid is inhibition of bone resorption. Although the antiresorptive mechanism is not completely understood, several factors are thought to contribute to this action. In vitro, zoledronic acid inhibits osteoclastic activity and induces osteoclast apoptosis. Zoledronic acid also blocks the osteoclastic resorption of mineralized bone and cartilage through its binding to bone. Zoledronic acid inhibits the increased osteoclastic activity and skeletal calcium release induced by various stimulatory factors released by tumors. (from Zometa Prescribing Information). It is manufactured by Novartis Pharmaceuticals.
Side effects can include fatigue, anemia, muscle aches, fever, and/or swelling in the feet or legs. Flu-like symptoms are commonly experienced after the first zoledronate infusion, although not subsequent infusions, and are thought to occur because of its potential to activate human T cells (gamma/delta T cells).
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