5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
5.1 Drug Products with Same Active Ingredient
Zoledronic Acid Injection contains the same active ingredient found in Zometa, used for oncology indications, and a patient being treated with Zometa should not be treated with Zoledronic Acid Injection.
5.2 Hypocalcemia and Mineral Metabolism
Pre-existing hypocalcemia and disturbances of mineral metabolism (e.g., hypoparathyroidism, thyroid surgery, parathyroid surgery; malabsorption syndromes, excision of small intestine) must be effectively treated before initiating therapy with zoledronic acid. Clinical monitoring of calcium and mineral levels (phosphorus and magnesium) is highly recommended for these patients [see Contraindications (4)].
Hypocalcemia following zoledronic acid administration is a significant risk in Paget's disease. All patients should be instructed about the symptoms of hypocalcemia and the importance of calcium and vitamin D supplementation in maintaining serum calcium levels [see Dosage and Administration (2.8), Adverse Reactions (6.1), Patient Counseling Information (17)].
5.3 Renal Impairment
A single dose of zoledronic acid should not exceed 5 mg and the duration of infusion should be no less than 15 minutes [see Dosage and Administration (2)].
Zoledronic Acid Injection is contraindicated in patients with creatinine clearance less than 35 mL/min and in those with evidence of acute renal impairment [see Contraindications (4)]. If history or physical signs suggest dehydration, Zoledronic Acid Injection therapy should be withheld until normovolemic status has been achieved [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)].
Zoledronic acid should be used with caution in patients with chronic renal impairment. Acute renal impairment, including renal failure, has been observed following the administration of zoledronic acid, especially in patients with pre-existing renal compromise, advanced age, concomitant nephrotoxic medications, concomitant diuretic therapy, or severe dehydration occurring before or after zoledronic acid administration. Acute renal failure (ARF) has been observed in patients after a single administration. Rare reports of hospitalization and/or dialysis or fatal outcome occurred in patients with underlying moderate to severe renal impairment or with any of the risk factors described in this section [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)]. Renal impairment may lead to increased exposure of concomitant medications and/or their metabolites that are primarily renally excreted [see Drug Interactions (7.4)].
Creatinine clearance should be calculated based on actual body weight using Cockcroft-Gault formula before each Zoledronic Acid Injection dose. Transient increase in serum creatinine may be greater in patients with impaired renal function; interim monitoring of creatinine clearance should be performed in at-risk patients. Elderly patients and those receiving diuretic therapy are at increased risk of acute renal failure. These patients should have their fluid status assessed and be appropriately hydrated prior to administration of zoledronic acid. Zoledronic acid should be used with caution with other nephrotoxic drugs [see Drug Interactions (7.3)]. Consider monitoring creatinine clearance in patients at-risk for ARF who are taking concomitant medications that are primarily excreted by the kidney [see Drug Interactions (7.4)].
5.4 Osteonecrosis of the Jaw
Osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) has been reported in patients treated with bisphosphonates, including zoledronic acid. Most cases have been in cancer patients treated with intravenous bisphosphonates undergoing dental procedures. A routine oral examination should be performed by the prescriber prior to initiation of bisphosphonate treatment. A dental examination with appropriate preventive dentistry should be considered prior to treatment with bisphosphonates in patients with a history of concomitant risk factors (e.g., cancer, chemotherapy, angiogenesis inhibitors, radiotherapy, corticosteroids, poor oral hygiene, pre-existing dental disease or infection, anemia, coagulopathy). The risk of ONJ may increase with duration of exposure to bisphosphonates. Concomitant administration of drugs associated with ONJ may increase the risk of developing ONJ.
While on treatment, patients with concomitant risk factors should avoid invasive dental procedures if possible. For patients who develop ONJ while on bisphosphonate therapy, dental surgery may exacerbate the condition. For patients requiring dental procedures, there are no data available to suggest whether discontinuation of bisphosphonate treatment reduces the risk of ONJ. The clinical judgment of the treating physician should guide the management plan of each patient based on individual benefit/risk assessment [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)].
5.5 Atypical Subtrochanteric and Diaphyseal Femoral Fractures
Atypical, low-energy, or low trauma fractures of the femoral shaft have been reported in bisphosphonate-treated patients. These fractures can occur anywhere in the femoral shaft from just below the lesser trochanter to above the supracondylar flare and are transverse or short oblique in orientation without evidence of comminution.
Atypical femur fractures most commonly occur with minimal or no trauma to the affected area. They may be bilateral and many patients report prodromal pain in the affected area, usually presenting as dull, aching thigh pain, weeks to months before a complete fracture occurs. A number of reports note that patients were also receiving treatment with glucocorticoids (e.g., prednisone) at the time of fracture.
Any patient with a history of bisphosphonate exposure who presents with thigh or groin pain should be suspected of having an atypical fracture and should be evaluated to rule out an incomplete femur fracture. Patients presenting with an atypical femur fracture should also be assessed for symptoms and signs of fracture in the contralateral limb. Interruption of bisphosphonate therapy should be considered, pending a risk/benefit assessment, on an individual basis.
5.6 Musculoskeletal Pain
In post-marketing experience, severe and occasionally incapacitating bone, joint, and/or muscle pain have been infrequently reported in patients taking bisphosphonates, including zoledronic acid. The time to onset of symptoms varied from one day to several months after starting the drug. Consider withholding future zoledronic acid treatment if severe symptoms develop. Most patients had relief of symptoms after stopping. A subset had recurrence of symptoms when rechallenged with the same drug or another bisphosphonate [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)].