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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Zoledronate infusion

Kōmititanga nā te rongoā kōiwi

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 12 to 18 months.

While the zoledronate medication is free, you may need to pay for having the infusion.

Benefits of zoledronate


Side effects

Some people have flu-like symptoms after their first treatment of zoledronate. 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 broken bone.

Known side effects

Rare side effects

Preparing for the infusion

Before the infusion

Your own general practice team may do your zoledronate infusion or you may be referred to another general practice team or 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.

Written by Auckland Bone Density. Adapted by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed September 2023.


Page reference: 40274

Review key: HIOSP-24517