Bisphosphonates help strengthen bones and are an important part of treatment for patients with multiple myeloma. The two bisphosphonates used in the United States to treat multiple myeloma-related bone loss are pamidronate and zoledronic acid. The two drugs have different infusion times and potentially different side effects. Talk with your doctor about the differences between the two bisphosphonates.
Before starting intravenous bisphosphonate treatment, schedule an examination with a dentist and tell the dentist about the upcoming treatment. Take care of your teeth, gums, and tongue with regular brushing and flossing and avoid having invasive dental procedures while receiving bisphosphonates.
Because additional risks of bisphosphonate treatment have been identified, ASCO recommends that most patients receive this treatment for no longer than two years. Talk with your doctor for more information about stopping and restarting bisphosphonate treatment.