Brand name: Zometa
Chemical name: Zoledronic acid
Class: Bisphosphonate. Aredia is another bisphosphonate.
How it works: Bisphosphonates limit the activity of certain bone cells, called osteoclasts, which help cause the bone weakening and destruction that can happen when breast cancer spreads to the bone. Bisphosphonates also can help keep blood calcium levels normal -- important because destruction of bone may increase blood calcium.
Uses: Zometa typically is used to reduce bone complications and bone pain caused by advanced-stage breast cancer that has spread to the bone. It's usually given with other chemotherapy medicines.
How it's given: Zometa is given intravenously.