Find out what ibandronic acid is, how you have it and other important information about having ibandronic acid.
Ibandronic acid is a bisphosphonate and is also known by its brand name, Bondronat.
It is a treatment to try to prevent bone problems in people whose cancer has weakened the bone. It is most commonly used to treat breast cancer that has spread to the bone (secondary breast cancer).
You might also have ibandronic acid to treat high levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcaemia) caused by secondary bone cancer.
How it works
Ibandronic acid strengthens the bone and stops the bone from breaking down.
How you have it
You can have ibandronic acid into your bloodstream (intravenously) or as a tablet.
Drugs into your bloodstream
You have the treatment through a drip into your arm. A nurse puts a small tube (a cannula) into one of your veins and connects the drip to it.
You might need a central line. This is a long plastic tube that gives the drugs into a large vein, either in your chest or through a vein in your arm. It stays in while you’re having treatment, which may be for a few months.
Taking your tablets
You need to take the tablet on an empty stomach or at least 6 hours after eating. The best time to have it is first thing in the morning before breakfast and any other medicines or supplements you take.
Take the tablet while standing or sitting upright. After taking the tablet do not eat or drink anything (except water) for at least 30 minutes. You should stay sitting or standing for an hour.
You should take the right dose, not more or less.
Never stop taking a cancer drug without talking to your specialist first.
When you have it
You might have ibandronic acid:
- as a drip into your bloodstream for 1 to 2 hours (if you are having it as a treatment to lower the calcium levels in your blood)
- as a drip into your bloodstream for 15 minutes, every 3 to 4 weeks (if you are having it as a treatment to prevent or reduce bone damage)
- as a tablet you take once a day
Tests during treatment
You have blood tests before starting treatment and during your treatment. They check your blood calcium levels. You might also need to do urine samples for testing and have tests to check how well your heart and kidneys are working.
Other medicines, foods and drink
Cancer drugs can interact with some other medicines and herbal products. Tell your doctor or pharmacist about any medicines you are taking. This includes vitamins, herbal supplements and over the counter remedies.
Calcium and vitamin D
For ibandronic acid to work well you need to have good levels of vitamin D and calcium in your body. Your doctor will prescribe vitamin D and calcium supplements if you aren't getting enough in your diet.
Ibandronic acid tablets contain lactose (a type of sugar). Tell your doctor if you have a rare hereditary syndrome that causes lactose intolerance.
Pregnancy and contraception
This treatment might harm a baby developing in the womb. It is important not to become pregnant or father a child while you are having treatment and for a few months afterwards. Talk to your doctor or nurse about effective contraception before starting treatment.
We don’t know how this treatment might affect fertility. You may not be able to become pregnant or father a child after treatment with this drug. Talk to your doctor before starting treatment if you think you may want to have a baby in the future.
Some men might be able to store sperm before starting treatment. Some women might be able to store eggs or embryos before treatment.
Don’t breastfeed during this treatment because the drug may come through in your breast milk.
Treatment for other conditions
Always tell other doctors, nurses or dentists that you’re having this treatment if you need treatment for anything else, including teeth problems.
More information about this treatment
For further information about this treatment go to the electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC) website.
You can report any side effect you have to the Medicines Health and Regulatory Authority (MHRA) as part of their Yellow Card Scheme.