Home' The Wellingtonian : October 20th 2011 Contents 16 THE WELLINGTONIAN, OCTOBER 20, 2011
*Aclasta is fully funded for patients who meet specified criteria. Funding does not include the cost of infusion and normal
doctors and prescription charges will apply.
Aclasta® (zoledronic acid 5mg) is a prescription medicine for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis and the treatment of Paget's disease of the bone.
Aclasta is an infusion and contains 5mg of zoledronic acid. Check with your doctor to see if Aclasta is right for you. Aclasta is fully funded for patients who
meet specified criteria. Funding does not include the cost of infusion and normal doctors and prescription charges will apply. Do not use if you are pregnant
or breast feeding. Not recommended in patients with kidney impairment or in children and adolescents. Caution while under dental treatment or if dental
treatment is planned. Calcium, hydration status and kidney function may be assessed by your doctor before and after you are given Aclasta. Adverse effects
are usually mild and transient. Common side effects are flu-like symptoms consisting of fever, fatigue, chills, and bone, joint, and/or muscle pain; anaemia;
headache; dizziness, transient low blood calcium; gastrointestinal symptoms, renal impairment, breathing difficulty and lethargy. Very rarely osteonecrosis
of the jaw has been reported. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your doctor. Aclasta is the registered trademark of Novartis AG. Novartis
New Zealand Limited, Auckland. For further information check the Consumer Medicine Information(CMI) at www.medsafe.govt.nz. ACL 0611-108-0613 TAPS
NA5092 INSIGHT4019 WE.
What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a serious and widespread
health condition that affects more than
350,000 people in New Zealand. According
to Osteoporosis New Zealand, over 50% of
women and nearly 1/3rd of men over the age
of 60 have the disease.
The word osteoporosis literally means
porous (spongy) bone. As the mineral
(e.g. calcium) density and quality of bone
is reduced and becomes more fragile,
sufferers develop an increased risk of bone
fractures (cracks or breaks). The most
common sites for osteoporosis-related
fractures are in the hip, spine, wrist, ribs,
pelvis and upper arm, although any part of
the skeleton can be affected.
It is often referred to as the 'silent disease'
as most sufferers don't know they have it
until they break a bone as a result of a fairly
minor fall or accident. Furthermore, there
is a higher subsequent rate of death and
only a minority regain their former level of
Osteoporosis has a significant impact on
the New Zealand population in terms of
quality of life and cost of care. Our ageing
population means that by 2020 the number
of people who break a hip each year is likely
to increase to more than 5,000, and it will
cost more than $148 million to treat them.
Risk and prevention
Hereditary factors mean that some people
are at more risk of developing osteoporosis
than others. However, the good news is that
osteoporosis is a preventable disease. While
bones naturally degenerate over time, a few
common sense lifestyle decisions can help
your bones stay strong and healthy.
Eat a calcium rich diet. A calcium-rich
diet will help protect your bone density.
As well as eating low-fat dairy products,
such as milk, yoghurt and cheese, you can
increase your calcium intake by eating leafy
green vegetables, like broccoli and spinach.
Get some Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps
calcium absorption. Most young people
get enough Vitamin D through a healthy
diet and careful exposure to the sun, but
many older people are at risk of Vitamin
D deficiency. Vitamin D supplements are
Exercise. Regular exercise can also help
prevent osteoporosis. For general good
health, the World Health Organisation
recommends adults aged 18--64 should do
at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity
aerobic physical activity each week.
Don't smoke! Smoking can lower estrogen
levels in women, and testosterone in men,
which can weaken bones.
Watch your alcohol. Heavy drinking should
be avoided as intoxicated people are at
increased risk of a fall and excessive alcohol
makes it difficult for your body's cells to
Low body weight can also increase a
person's risk of osteoporosis.
Even for those who already have
osteoporosis, addressing the risk factors --
diet, low physical activity, smoking, alcohol
and low weight - can decrease the risk of
People who take steroids (such as
prednisone) for other medical conditions
are also at increased risk of osteoporosis,
as they can affect the production of bone.
Anyone taking steroids should discuss bone
protection with their doctor.
There are a number of osteoporosis
treatment options available to New
Zealanders. Talk to your doctor about which
option is right for you.
Aclasta (zoledronic acid) is a convenient
once-yearly treatment option. Aclasta
belongs to a class of medicines called
''bisphosphonates'' which help to make your
bones stronger as well as reducing the risk
of them breaking.
Aclasta is an IV infusion that is given over at
least 15 minutes, and can be administered
by a GP or Practice Nurse. With Aclasta, a
single yearly treatment, along with adequate
calcium intake, helps to increase bone
density, protecting and strengthening your
Aclasta is fully funded for patients who meet
specified criteria, although patients who
choose once-yearly Aclasta treatment will
have to pay for the cost of the infusion.
For more information on Aclasta talk to your
GP, or visit www.aclasta.co.nz
Once-yearly treatment for Osteoporosis
now funded* for New Zealand patients
Links Archive October 13th 2011 October 27th 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page