Reclast Side Effects May Include Increased Risk of Seizures: Case Report

A recent case report warns that side effects of Reclast may increase the risk of seizures, adding to a growing body of evidence linking the problems to a class of bone-strengthening drugs known as bisphosphonates.

Israeli researchers published details involving problems experienced by a 63 year old woman, as well as a review of other existing literature on the link between Reclast and seizures in a report published last month in the medical journal AACE Clinical Case Reports.

The report involves the researchers personal experience with a patient who had a history of epilepsy, but had no seizures in recent years. However, just 12 hours after receiving an intravenous dose of Reclast, she lost consciousness and suffered urinary incontinence, which the doctors suspected was seizure-related.

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The findings led the researchers to look into what they say is a growing body of evidence of seizures occurring after patients have been given potent doses of a class of bone-strengthening drugs known as bisphosphonates.

Reclast (zoledronic acid) was developed by Novartis and approved by the FDA in 2007, and is given as an injection once a year. It is also sold as Zometa, a monthly cancer drug.

The medication is part of a class of drugs known as bisphosphonates, which are used to treat Paget’s disease, high blood levels of calcium caused by cancer or cancer that has spread from elsewhere in the body to the bone, to treat or prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, and to increase bone mass in men with osteoporosis.

The researchers of this most recent case say they found five other reported cases of seizures occurring shortly after patients were given bisphosphonates. Of those five cases, four involved the use of Reclast.

“Our interpretation of the scenario described is based on clinical judgment and not supported by ancillary studies,” the researchers concluded. “Nevertheless, our case, along with the limitations described, joins other reports, and raises questions about possible interaction between a convulsion disorder and a potent bone resorption inhibition administration, leading to a relative hypocalcemia and possible seizure threshold reduction. This question should be further explored by other studies.”

The researchers noted the one major limitation in their case report was that the woman did not seek immediate medical attention. However, the patient’s epilepsy had been well controlled for years and a recent EEG test show no recent epileptic activity.

“The causal connection between seizures and IV ZA is unproven,” the doctors determined. “We believe that our case, along with the limitations described, joins other rare reports, and raises questions about a possible interaction between convulsion disorder and potent bone resorption inhibition administration, leading to a relative hypocalcemia and possible seizure threshold reduction.”

3 Comments

  • TApril 24, 2022 at 4:39 pm

    I had 2 doses of Reclast a year apart. The day after the 1st infusion, 3 fingernails had lifted off the nailbed. I had to keep them taped down for almost before they grew out normally. Second infusion I developed osteonecrosis of my left lower jaw. Then my left femur broke into 2 pieces while I was standing in one place ironing a shirt. My femur broke in the neck of my femur. I was told iv a pers[Show More]I had 2 doses of Reclast a year apart. The day after the 1st infusion, 3 fingernails had lifted off the nailbed. I had to keep them taped down for almost before they grew out normally. Second infusion I developed osteonecrosis of my left lower jaw. Then my left femur broke into 2 pieces while I was standing in one place ironing a shirt. My femur broke in the neck of my femur. I was told iv a person took a sledge hammer and hit a femur there it wouldn't break. Did not stop Reclast from breaking it. That was 7 years ago. My left leg has never healed. Most if my surgeries have been at Stanford so I know I had good care. All the surgeons who have done surgery on me said my bones are "mushy." I wish I never used Reclast. So now I try to warn everyone about this drug and other bisphosphonates how horrible they are and Novartis does not care. Greed is putting peoples lives at risk.

  • GeorgiannOctober 1, 2021 at 12:14 am

    I’m a breast cancer survivor. I’ve been given Reclast since 2016 to strengthen my bones. I had 4 rounds of chemo, 35 days of radiation and was taken tamoxifen for 5 years and after tamoxifen another drug for several. Reclast broke my femur bone November 2020 and then the other leg femur in July 2021.

  • JamesSeptember 29, 2021 at 6:24 pm

    My wife finished Reclast treatments in March 2018. She then complained of pain in her left leg and was treated with pain management shots to no avail. In May of 2019 she bumped her left foot on leg of coffee table and her femur fractured. She underwent surgery and months of rehabilitation. After recovering she said her right leg didn't feel right. On Augudt 7, 2021 while bending over her right f[Show More]My wife finished Reclast treatments in March 2018. She then complained of pain in her left leg and was treated with pain management shots to no avail. In May of 2019 she bumped her left foot on leg of coffee table and her femur fractured. She underwent surgery and months of rehabilitation. After recovering she said her right leg didn't feel right. On Augudt 7, 2021 while bending over her right femur sustained a similar fracture. Again, surgery and is still rehabbing her right leg.

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