Clinical Update

Once-Yearly 5 Milligram Zoledronic Acid Intravenous Infusion (Reclast®) for Osteoporosis is Most Likely Not Associated With Osteonecrosis of the Jaw.

Zoledronic acid is a bisphosphonate used as an intravenous infusion in certain cancer patients, to prevent hypercalcemia from malignancy. It is also used to treat and prevent osteoporosis in selected patient populations. Zoledronic acid, under the brand name of Zometa®, when used in cancer patients as a monthly infusion, is associated with osteonecrosis of the jaw to a fairly significant extent (see monograph on Zometa in the Lexicomp database). Zoledronic acid, under the brand name of Reclast®, when used as a once-yearly infusion in osteoporosis patients, appears to have a very low, if any, association with osteonecrosis of the jaw.

This month’s article reviews the latest reports on the incidence of osteonecrosis of the jaw after once-yearly Reclast infusions in osteoporosis patients.

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Dr. Richard L. Wynn, BS Pharm, PhD is a professor of pharmacology at the University of Maryland Dental School.

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