When cancer from a solid tumor has spread to your bones, your doctor may prescribe a bone-targeting medicine. Bone-targeting medicines are used to help prevent serious bone problems caused by bone metastases. They are prescribed to people with many types of cancers such as breast, prostate, and lung cancers.1
Bone-targeting medicines are not appropriate for all patients. Ask your doctor if one is right for you.
Most bone-targeting medicines are given by a shot or an intravenous (IV) infusion. These medicines are administered in your doctor's office, usually about once every 3 to 4 weeks.2
Do not take bone-targeting medicines if you have low blood calcium (hypocalcemia) or are allergic to any of the ingredients in the medicine. Call your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room right away if you have any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
Some of the possible side effects of bone-targeting medicines include low calcium levels in your blood (hypocalcemia), which could be life-threatening, severe jaw bone problems (osteonecrosis), unusual thigh bone fractures (atypical femoral fracture), and possible harm to your unborn baby.
If you are already on a bone-targeting medicine and you experience these or any other unusual symptoms, contact your doctor.
Osteonecrosis (pronounced OSS•tee•oh•ne•KRO•sis) of the jaw (ONJ) involves serious bone damage in the jaw. ONJ may occur during treatment with some bone-targeting medicines.2
Remember to practice good dental care if your doctor has prescribed bone-targeting medicines. You may want to have a dental exam before you begin therapy, and then focus on your dental health throughout treatment.
While you are taking a bone-targeting therapy:
Talk with your doctor for more information about how a bone-targeting medicine may impact the health of your mouth or jaw.