It’s the Zometa, Stupid!

Last week I had an infusion of Zometa. The next day, I felt a bit flu-ish, or like I was coming down with a bad cold. You know that feeling? Aches and general malaise. I started to think about how I always felt kind of icky after having spent the day at the hospital for my infusion and monthly appointment. I assumed I had been hanging out in a germy environment and was fighing some kind of virus. Argh. Well, I finally figured it out after almost 2 years. It’s the Zometa. I had a pretty harsh reaction to it the very first time I had it, so what I’ve been feeling since then seemed like nothing. I just knew I didn’t feel well, but oddly enough never attributed it to the Zometa.

Added on January 23, 2005: I wanted to add that the local docs I talk to have also downplayed the risk of ONJ & Zometa. I was told by Dr. Durie that this is a real threat. He suggested I switch to Aredia – a 2 hr infusion. Possibly every other month. I will see him in March in Atlanta, and will ask about this again.


  1. Jocelyne Mc Iver

    I was doing very well on the Gerson- Coley treatment for brest cancer with bone metastases. All the pain were gone in the bones, I could finally walk normally and most tumors were nearly completely gone. Well after one singe treatment of Zometa, within days the cancer was back, full blown, I have not been able to walk normally since and the tumors are bigger than ever. The doctors who prescribed it ignore what I had said about my therapy and the people adising me on the Gerson ignored the basics of the therapy. I hope I can recover. Moral of the story, dont trust anybody lightly.We have only one life and for all the health practicionners, we become just statistics if they make a mistake.

  2. Stephanie Holtz

    I had my first infusion of zometa 6 weeks ago and had such an acute reaction I ended up in the emergency room for 5 hours. this past infusion I doubled from 15 minutes to 30 and took motrin around the clock two days before, during and after and it helped tremendously but if I missed one dose of motrin it let me know it was there just under the surface. What I find most difficult is the fatigue… I have zero energy once the work week is done and the flu like symptoms last a week and a half for me.

    • Beth

      Could you go for an hour and use more saline? Maybe a half liter? I’m not sure you could get 500 ml inside of an hour, but I’m going to to ask someone about that. The other alternative is Aredia over no less than 2 hours. I never have Zometa in less than 45 minutes. I didn’t think anyone did 15 minute infusions!

  3. Judith Meuli

    I get the flu like symptoms, too. I thought it was the “downer” from the clinical environment reminding me I had a disease but you’re right, it is the Zometa. I’ve tried taking more calcium for a few days?that’s how it is administered in some countries?but doesn’t seem to alter the course.

  4. T. Alan Peterson, D.D.S.

    I am a general dentist. One of my patientes developed osteonecrosis during lung surgery when she was intubated. A small patch of tissue was scuffed off her mandibular tori ( small bony knobs on the lower jaw that project toward the tongue – normal anatomy not found in all individuals ) and it has never healed. Several specialists at several different hospitals have tried surgery without success. She has also had hyperbaric oxygen therapy without success. She is gradually losing the teeth on the right side of her jaw and the infection which is kept in control only by constant antibiotics is now crossing the midline to the opposite side of the jaw. The bone will not heal. It has lost the capacity to heal since Zometa killed the living cells in the bone. I believe the infection will continue slowly until the entire lower jaw is removed. She is not a candidate for a graft of bone from a donor site anywhere else in the body because all bone in her body is probably affected the same way.

  5. Terry

    My Oncologist just took me off Aredia after two years and put me in Zometa. After reading these comments, now I am frightened! I was exhausted for ten days after the treatment four weeks ago, and will have one this Friday. Just how do you tactfully tell your Doctor you want to return to the previous treatment? Thank you!

  6. karen

    my husband has prostate cancer and has rec’d zometa infusions every 3 months for alamost 2 yrs. He just had a ct scan which showed possible mets and is scheduled for a bone scan and mri. His oncologist is even stumped since his last bone scan 3 months ago was clear. Anyone ever heard of problems w/ zometa anywhere other than the jaw? The oncologist is planning on calling novartis.

  7. Dan Bammes

    Zometa regularly makes me feel like I’ve been kicked by a horse. I plan my Zometa infusions on Thursdays, knowing that by Saturday I’ll be sick and by Monday I’ll feel fine.

    My hem/onc doc dismisses my concern about osteonecrosis, even though I had an episode of ‘numb jaw’ syndrome a couple months after I started Zometa. I think Aventis is really downplaying the risk, and that may come back to haunt them.

  8. Katy Ellis

    Osteoecrosis of the jaw. That’s what I got from Zometa.

  9. Katy Ellis

    I was on Zometa for two years and had goog results. Then about six months ago I had to have some dental wok done. Now I have osteonecrosis of the jaw. That is when the gums seperate from the jaw bone, leaving exposed jaw bone in the mouth. Very, very painfull. Thanks Zometa.


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