Ibandronic acid (INN) or ibandronate sodium (USAN) is a potent bisphosphonate drug developed by Hoffman La Roche and used in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and metastasis-associated skeletal fractures in people with cancer. It may also be used to treat hypercalcemia (elevated blood calcium levels).
You will be prescribed ibandronic acid to prevent bone damage (in conditions such asosteoporosis or if you have a secondary bone cancer), or to reduce a high blood level of calcium resulting from a cancer that has spread to your bone.
When ibandronic acid is used to treat osteoporosis (Bonviva® brand), it is only suitable for women who have been through the menopause. Osteoporosis is a bone disease which causes your bones to become brittle and fragile, making them prone to breaks and fractures. During our lifetime, old bone tissue is constantly being broken down and replaced by new bone. After the age of about 35 years, our bone begins to lose density because old bone is lost faster than new bone can replace it. Women in particular have an increased risk of developing osteoporosis because they lose bone material rapidly after the menopause. Ibandronic acid slows down the rate at which old bone is lost. New bone continues to be made and this leads to an overall increase in bone density, which reduces your risk of broken bones and fractures.
Ibandronic acid (Bondronat® brand) is used to help treat complications associated with cancer. In some cancers there can be an excessive breakdown of bone. As this happens, the bone is weakened and calcium is lost from the bone and seeps into the blood, leading to higher-than-normal blood levels of calcium. Ibandronic acid helps by binding to bone, making the bone stronger and reducing the amount of calcium leaving the bone.