New to Zometa? Here is some info that may help...

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CypressCynthia
CypressCynthia Member Posts: 4,014 Member
Many here are on zometa and wonder about side effects. I am posting this in hopes it will help. Zometa is a bone strengthening drug that is used to help in the treatment of bone metastasis. It hardens the bone so there are less skeletal related events (SRE's) like fractures. Some believe it may slow the spread of bone metastases by making it more difficult for the bone to be affected by the cancer. Regardless, it is known that the drug saves lives by preventing SRE's.

What You need To Know About Zometa:

1) Zometa is processed by the kidneys and can lessen kidney functioning. Drink lots of water--especially before your infusion!
2) Zometa, because it is a bisphosphonate like boniva, can cause jaw necrosis. It is crucial that you maintain good dental hygiene while on this drug. I go to the dental hygienist every 6 months without fail and have become a flossing and brushing nut. Jaw necrosis is associated more with poor dental hygiene. It is also advised to avoid major dental work while on the drug (fillings ok; implants a big NO). Print out the info on this link and take it to your dentist. My dentist was happy to have it:
Osteonecrosis of the Jaw
http://www.boneandcancerfoundation.org/pdfs/osteonecrosis.pdf

Also, from Zometa's web site:
"To maintain a healthy smile as a patient living with cancer, you should:
Schedule a dental exam and cleaning before cancer treatment begins and periodically during the course of your treatment
Discuss dental procedures, such as the pulling of teeth or insertion of dental implants, with your oncologist before you start your cancer treatment
Have your dentist check and adjust removable dentures, if you have them
Tell your physician about any bleeding of the gums, pain, or unusual feeling in your teeth or gums, or any dental infections" http://www.us.zometa.com/patient/cancer-dental-health.jsp?site=PC000007&irmasrc=ZOMWB0147&source=01030

3) Drink lots of water as this drug can harm your kidneys!
4) Some report a flu-like feeling which is usually markedly worse after the first infusion and gets better with subsequent infusions. I never had this side effect. I went shopping after my first infusion ;-). My little sister did though, so it may be a good idea to have someone drive you until you see how you are going to do.
5) Drink lots of water as this drug is processed by your kidneys and dehydration will worsen the effect on your kidneys.
6) One more thing, drink lots of water while on this drug ;-)

Answers to frequently asked questions on the zometa web site:

Frequently Asked Questions: Zometa

http://www.us.zometa.com/patient/zometa-questions.jsp?site=PC000007&irmasrc=ZOMWB0147&source=01030

Comments

  • CypressCynthia
    CypressCynthia Member Posts: 4,014 Member
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  • SIROD
    SIROD Member Posts: 2,194 Member
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    Ocular Problems Too
    I was offered Zometa when I fractured three vertebrae while on Arimidex. I chose to use Fosamax and then Boniva as I didn't want to have another reason to continue visiting the Cancer Center.

    As a result I developed Uveitis and mine is chronic. All bisphosphonates which includes Zometa, Aredia, Fosamax, Boniva and etc. are part of this drug. Uveitis is an autoimmune disease which causes inflammation of the uvea. My uveitis specialist told me never to use any bisphosphonates as there is a connection.

    While this important information has been given, I thought to add my 2 cents worth. When I came down with uveitis, I had no idea what it was, how it happened and no one I worked with did either. Lucky, the doctor I saw at the ER did.

    Best,

    Doris


    http://www.rxlist.com/zometa-drug.htm

    Ocular Adverse Events

    Cases of uveitis, scleritis, episcleritis, conjunctivitis, iritis, and orbital inflammation including orbital edema have been reported during postmarketing use. In some cases, symptoms resolved with topical steroids.
  • MAJW
    MAJW Member Posts: 2,510 Member
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    Thanks CC..
    I appreciate this info...I don't have bone mets as my oncologist wants this as hopefully, a preventative measure...having the first infusion Monday morning at 8:30....yippee!:(

    Hugs,Nancy
  • CypressCynthia
    CypressCynthia Member Posts: 4,014 Member
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    SIROD said:

    Ocular Problems Too
    I was offered Zometa when I fractured three vertebrae while on Arimidex. I chose to use Fosamax and then Boniva as I didn't want to have another reason to continue visiting the Cancer Center.

    As a result I developed Uveitis and mine is chronic. All bisphosphonates which includes Zometa, Aredia, Fosamax, Boniva and etc. are part of this drug. Uveitis is an autoimmune disease which causes inflammation of the uvea. My uveitis specialist told me never to use any bisphosphonates as there is a connection.

    While this important information has been given, I thought to add my 2 cents worth. When I came down with uveitis, I had no idea what it was, how it happened and no one I worked with did either. Lucky, the doctor I saw at the ER did.

    Best,

    Doris


    http://www.rxlist.com/zometa-drug.htm

    Ocular Adverse Events

    Cases of uveitis, scleritis, episcleritis, conjunctivitis, iritis, and orbital inflammation including orbital edema have been reported during postmarketing use. In some cases, symptoms resolved with topical steroids.

    Thanks Doris. I have been
    Thanks Doris. I have been lucky and not had any adverse reactions thus far.

    Here are the symptoms of uveitis from the Mayo Clinic:

    "The signs, symptoms and characteristics of uveitis include:
    Eye redness
    Eye pain
    Light sensitivity
    Blurred vision
    Dark, floating spots in your field of vision (floaters)
    Decreased vision
    Whitish area (hypopyon) inside the lower part of the colored area of the eye (iris)"
    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/uveitis/DS00677/DSECTION=symptoms


    I switched to Xgeva (denosumab) in August, in part because it is a quick SQ shot (no waiting), in part because early studies are showing better outcomes with xgeva vs zometa (zoledronic acid). Mostly, I begged my physician to switch me because I really hated the time and was tired of the IV sticks. Xgeva is also a bisphosphonate with similar side effects except no kidney side effects. Xgeva is much more expensive, so I wouldn't necessarily recommend it over zometa unless you have good coverage.

    See:
    Denosumab Superior to Zoledronic Acid in Advanced Breast Cancer

    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/732523
  • carkris
    carkris Member Posts: 4,553 Member
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    Thanks Doris. I have been
    Thanks Doris. I have been lucky and not had any adverse reactions thus far.

    Here are the symptoms of uveitis from the Mayo Clinic:

    "The signs, symptoms and characteristics of uveitis include:
    Eye redness
    Eye pain
    Light sensitivity
    Blurred vision
    Dark, floating spots in your field of vision (floaters)
    Decreased vision
    Whitish area (hypopyon) inside the lower part of the colored area of the eye (iris)"
    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/uveitis/DS00677/DSECTION=symptoms


    I switched to Xgeva (denosumab) in August, in part because it is a quick SQ shot (no waiting), in part because early studies are showing better outcomes with xgeva vs zometa (zoledronic acid). Mostly, I begged my physician to switch me because I really hated the time and was tired of the IV sticks. Xgeva is also a bisphosphonate with similar side effects except no kidney side effects. Xgeva is much more expensive, so I wouldn't necessarily recommend it over zometa unless you have good coverage.

    See:
    Denosumab Superior to Zoledronic Acid in Advanced Breast Cancer

    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/732523

    I had every side effect the
    I had every side effect the first time. What a shock. I still feel a little fluish but not as bad. I have recieved these as a preventative the evidence is not as strong as to its effectiveness. I receive my last one in Feb. originally I was going to get it for three years now two. it may sound silly but I wish I was getting it for 3
  • CypressCynthia
    CypressCynthia Member Posts: 4,014 Member
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