Millions of Americans take bisphosphonates by mouth to prevent bone loss from osteoporosis or steroid medications, most often once a week or once a month. One study found that Reclast, or zoledronic acid, given through injection once a year, may actually work even better. The speculation is that oral bisphosphonates are difficult to absorb and that giving patients an infusion bypasses the absorption issues completely.
Researchers compared the results of Reclast versus Actonel in 833 patients over a year’s time. Patients taking Actonel showed a bone mineral density (BMD) increase of 2.7%, while those taking the Reclast showed increased BMD of over 4%. The only apparent side effect of Reclast is a minor flu-type feeling that some patients experience after 48 hours of the injection. Having sufficient calcium and vitamin D is also essential when using Reclast.