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HealthInfo West Coast-Te Tai Poutini

Zoledronate infusion

Zoledronate (also called zoledronic acid) is a powerful type of bisphosphonate. Bisphosphonates are used to treat osteoporosis and Paget's disease, and to prevent some forms of cancer from spreading in the bones.

How bisphosphonates work

Your bones are in a constant state of change. As new bone is added by cells called osteoblasts, old bone is dissolved by cells called osteoclasts. Bisphosphonates help to prevent the osteoclasts from dissolving (or resorbing) your bones.

Treatment with zoledronate

Zoledronate is given directly into your arm via a drip. This is called intravenous infusion. It takes between 15 and 30 minutes and is done every one or two years.

Benefits of zoledronate


Side effects

Some people have flu-like symptoms after their first treatment of zoledronate, but apart from that, side effects aren't common. When considering zoledronate treatment, it's important to balance the small risk of side effects against the much greater risk of a major fracture.

Known side effects

Rare side effects

Preparing for the infusion

Before the infusion

Your own GP may do your zoledronate infusion or you may be referred to a specialist. The following steps need to be done before you have the infusion.

On the day of the infusion

See your doctor before attending the appointment if you have any questions about the procedure.

Talk to your doctor if you have any other questions about the medicine or your bone condition.

Information provided by the Canterbury DHB. Adapted by the West Coast DHB. Last reviewed August 2018.


Page reference: 199181

Review key: HIOSP-24517