What is it and how is it used?
Aclasta contains the active substance zoledronic acid. It belongs to a group of medicines called bisphosphonates and is used to treat post-menopausal women and men with osteoporosis or osteoporosis caused by treatment with steroids, and Paget?s disease of the bone.
Osteoporosis is a disease that involves the thinning and weakening of the bones and is common in women after the menopause, but can also occur in men. At the menopause, a woman?s ovaries stop producing the female hormone oestrogen, which helps keep bones healthy. Following the menopause bone loss occurs, bones become weaker and break more easily. Osteoporosis could also occur in men and women because of the long term use of steroids, which can affect the strength of bones. Many patients with osteoporosis have no symptoms but they are still at risk of breaking bones because osteoporosis has made their bones weaker. Decreased circulating levels of sex hormones, mainly oestrogens converted from androgens, also play a role in the more gradual bone loss observed in men. In both women and men, Aclasta strengthens the bone and therefore makes it less likely to break. Aclasta is also used in patients who have recently broken their hip in a minor trauma such as a fall and therefore are at risk of subsequent bone breaks.
Paget?s disease of the bone
It is normal that old bone is removed and is replaced with new bone material. This process is called remodelling. In Paget?s disease, bone remodelling is too rapid and new bone is formed in a disordered fashion, which makes it weaker than normal. If the disease is not treated, bones may become deformed and painful, and may break. Aclasta works by returning the bone remodelling process to normal, securing formation of normal bone, thus restoring strength to the bone.