Bisphosphonates are drugs that slow the progression of abnormal bone destruction and formation that bone metastases cause. The drugs do the following:

  • Decrease risk for fractures
  • Reduce bone pain
  • Lower high blood calcium levels
  • Slow bone damage that is caused by cancer

Different types of bisphosphonates are available, such as:

  • Aredia (pamidronate)
  • Zometa (zoledronate)

Each has somewhat different effects. Bisphosphonates in cancer treatment are usually given through an IV (intravenous) line every three to four weeks. The oral forms are not well absorbed and can irritate the gastrointestinal tract.

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