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Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2011 Apr;12(5):807-15. doi: 10.1517/14656566.2011.562201. Epub 2011 Mar 9.

Zoledronic acid for prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.

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  • 1United Osteoporosis Centers, 2350 Limestone Parkway NE, Gainesville, GA 30501, USA.



Osteoporosis (OP) is associated with a high risk of fracture and disability and with substantial medical costs. This paper is a review of the intravenous (i.v.) bisphosphonate zoledronic acid 5 mg (ZOL), used in the treatment and prevention of OP.


This is a review of the scientific literature, between 2003 and 2010, on the use of ZOL in patients with low bone mass or OP.


ZOL, given as a single infusion once yearly, has proven efficacy in reducing risk of vertebral and hip fractures in postmenopausal women with OP. In men and women with a recent hip fracture, ZOL has been shown to reduce the incidence of future clinical fractures. Data also demonstrate an increase in bone mineral density in postmenopausal women with osteopenia, in men with OP, and in patients at risk for glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis. The ZOL clinical program has shown this agent to be safe and generally well tolerated. Acute flu-like symptoms may occur following the first infusion of ZOL, but these are generally mild and transient, and decrease in frequency with subsequent infusions. Patients must have adequate renal function (creatinine clearance ≥ 35 ml/min) and be adequately hydrated prior to infusion. With orally administered bisphosphonates, patient compliance and persistence with weekly or monthly dosing are frequently suboptimal. The ability to administer i.v. ZOL once yearly over 15 min for the treatment of OP provides the advantage of guaranteeing medication compliance for the duration of the dosing interval.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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