, Volume 21, Issue 9, pp 1621-1622
Date: 08 Oct 2009

Respiratory complications associated with IV zoledronic acid infusion in the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis

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Zoledronic acid (ZA) is used to treat postmenopausal osteoporosis in a dose of 5 mgs IV annually [1]. We report our experience in treating 30 consecutive women in 2008 with postmenopausal osteoporosis.


Thirty women mean age 71.7 years (range 50–85) with postmenopausal osteoporosis were studied.

Twenty-five (83%) were intolerant of oral bisphosphonate therapy.


Nine patients had pre-existing chest disease. Five of these had no respiratory problems post infusion. Six patients (two with pre-existing asthma and two with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD) had dyspnoea which was not present at the time of infusion but developed within 24 h. It was described by the patient as mild in three cases and moderate in two and resolved within 3 days without the need for treatment. One of these patients, a woman of 78 years with pre-existing COPD, became acutely dyspnoeic about 8 h post infusion. She was admitted to hospital with type 2 respiratory failure and spent a