Zometa (Page 4 of 8)

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been reported during postapproval use of Zometa. Because these reports are from a population of uncertain size and are subject to confounding factors, it is not possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Osteonecrosis of the Jaw

Cases of osteonecrosis (primarily involving the jaw but also of other anatomical sites including hip, femur and external auditory canal) have been reported predominantly in cancer patients treated with intravenous bisphosphonates including Zometa. Many of these patients were also receiving chemotherapy and corticosteroids which may be a risk factor for ONJ. Caution is advised when Zometa is administered with anti-angiogenic drugs as an increased incidence of ONJ has been observed with concomitant use of these drugs. Data suggests a greater frequency of reports of ONJ in certain cancers, such as advanced breast cancer and multiple myeloma. The majority of the reported cases are in cancer patients following invasive dental procedures, such as tooth extraction. It is therefore prudent to avoid invasive dental procedures as recovery may be prolonged [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].

Acute Phase Reaction

Within three days after Zometa administration, an acute phase reaction has been reported, with symptoms including pyrexia, fatigue, bone pain and/or arthralgias, myalgias, chills, influenza-like illness and arthritis with subsequent joint swelling; these symptoms usually resolve within three days of onset, but resolution could take up to 7 to 14 days. However, some of these symptoms have been reported to persist for a longer duration.

Musculoskeletal Pain

Severe and occasionally incapacitating bone, joint, and/or muscle pain has been reported with bisphosphonate use [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].

Atypical Subtrochanteric and Diaphyseal Femoral Fractures

Atypical subtrochanteric and diaphyseal femoral fractures have been reported with bisphosphonate therapy, including Zometa [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)].

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.

Hypersensitivity Reactions

There have been rare reports of allergic reaction with intravenous zoledronic acid including angioedema and bronchoconstriction. Very rare cases of anaphylactic reaction/shock have been reported. Cases of Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis have also been reported.

Additional adverse reactions reported in postmarketing use include:

CNS: taste disturbance, hyperesthesia, tremor; Special Senses: blurred vision; uveitis; Gastrointestinal: dry mouth; Skin: Increased sweating; Musculoskeletal: muscle cramps; Cardiovascular: hypertension, bradycardia, hypotension (associated with syncope or circulatory collapse primarily in patients with underlying risk factors); Respiratory: bronchospasms, interstitial lung disease (ILD) with positive rechallenge; Renal: hematuria, proteinuria, acquired Fanconi syndrome; General Disorders and Administration Site: weight increase, influenza-like illness (pyrexia, asthenia, fatigue or malaise) persisting for greater than 30 days; Laboratory Abnormalities: hyperkalemia, hypernatremia, hypocalcemia (cardiac arrhythmias and neurologic adverse events including seizures, tetany, and numbness have been reported due to severe hypocalcemia).


In vitro studies indicate that the plasma protein binding of zoledronic acid is low, with the unbound fraction ranging from 60%-77%. In vitro studies also indicate that zoledronic acid does not inhibit microsomal CYP450 enzymes. In vivo studies showed that zoledronic acid is not metabolized, and is excreted into the urine as the intact drug.

7.1 Aminoglycosides and Calcitonin

Caution is advised when bisphosphonates are administered with aminoglycosides or calcitonin, since these agents may have an additive effect to lower serum calcium level for prolonged periods. This effect has not been reported in Zometa clinical trials.

7.2 Loop Diuretics

Caution should also be exercised when Zometa is used in combination with loop diuretics due to an increased risk of hypocalcemia.

7.3 Nephrotoxic Drugs

Caution is indicated when Zometa is used with other potentially nephrotoxic drugs.

7.4 Thalidomide

No dose adjustment for Zometa 4 mg is needed when coadministered with thalidomide. In a pharmacokinetic study of 24 patients with multiple myeloma, Zometa 4 mg given as a 15-minute infusion was administered either alone or with thalidomide (100 mg once daily on days 1-14 and 200 mg once daily on Days 15-28). Coadministration of thalidomide with Zometa did not significantly change the pharmacokinetics of zoledronic acid or creatinine clearance.


8.1 Pregnancy

Risk Summary

Based on findings from animal studies and its mechanism of action, Zometa can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.1)]. There are no available data in pregnant women to inform the drug-associated risk. In animal reproduction studies, administration of zoledronic acid to pregnant rats during organogenesis resulted in fetal malformations and embryo-fetal lethality at maternal exposures that were ≥ 2.4 times the human clinical exposure based on AUC (see Data). Bisphosphonates, such as Zometa, are incorporated into the bone matrix, from where they are gradually released over periods of weeks to years. There may be a risk of fetal harm (e.g., skeletal and other abnormalities) if a woman becomes pregnant after completing a course of bisphosphonate therapy. Advise pregnant women and females of reproductive potential of the potential risk to a fetus.

The background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown; however, in the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects is 2%-4% and of miscarriage is 15%-20% of clinically recognized pregnancies.


Animal Data

In female rats given subcutaneous doses of zoledronic acid of 0.01, 0.03, or 0.1 mg/kg/day beginning 15 days before mating and continuing through gestation, the number of stillbirths was increased and survival of neonates was decreased in the mid- and high-dose groups (greater than or equal to 0.2 times the human systemic exposure following an intravenous dose of 4 mg, based on an AUC comparison). Adverse maternal effects were observed in all dose groups (with a systemic exposure of greater than or equal to 0.07 times the human systemic exposure following an intravenous dose of 4 mg, based on an AUC comparison) and included dystocia and periparturient mortality in pregnant rats allowed to deliver. Maternal mortality may have been related to drug-induced inhibition of skeletal calcium mobilization, resulting in periparturient hypocalcemia. This appears to be a bisphosphonate-class effect.

In pregnant rats given a subcutaneous dose of zoledronic acid of 0.1, 0.2, or 0.4 mg/kg/day during gestation, adverse fetal effects were observed in the mid- and high-dose groups (with systemic exposures of 2.4 and 4.8 times, respectively, the human systemic exposure following an intravenous dose of 4 mg, based on an AUC comparison). These adverse effects included increases in pre- and postimplantation losses, decreases in viable fetuses, and fetal skeletal, visceral, and external malformations. Fetal skeletal effects observed in the high-dose group included unossified or incompletely ossified bones, thickened, curved, or shortened bones, wavy ribs, and shortened jaw. Other adverse fetal effects observed in the high-dose group included reduced lens, rudimentary cerebellum, reduction or absence of liver lobes, reduction of lung lobes, vessel dilation, cleft palate, and edema. Skeletal variations were also observed in the low dose group at 0.1 mg/kg/day (with systemic exposure of 1.2 times the human systemic exposure following an intravenous dose of 4 mg, based on an AUC comparison). Signs of maternal toxicity were observed in the high-dose group and included reduced body weights and food consumption, indicating that maximal exposure levels were achieved in this study.

In pregnant rabbits given subcutaneous doses of zoledronic acid of 0.01, 0.03, or 0.1 mg/kg/day during gestation (less than or equal to 0.5 times the human intravenous dose of 4 mg, based on a comparison of relative body surface areas), no adverse fetal effects were observed. Maternal mortality and abortion occurred in all treatment groups (at doses greater than or equal to 0.05 times the human intravenous dose of 4 mg, based on a comparison of relative body surface areas). Adverse maternal effects were associated with, and may have been caused by, drug-induced hypocalcemia.

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