Can someone please tell me how often you have bisphosphonate treatment in IV form. Is it every 6/8 weeks?

when i had them in IV Form it was every three weeks
Now i have it in tablet form which i take once a day

Excuse my ignorance but what’s bisphosphonate??

Hi GrannyScouse,
They are drugs used for secondary bone cancer

Hi AneAnne,

I was dignosed with secondaries in bones last October and have IV bisphosphonates every 4 weeks. I’ve just had my 3rd infusion last week.

How are you? What treatment are you having?

Angee x

Hi I had infusions for nearly 3 years and these were every 4 weeks…I’ve known friends have infusions every 3 weeks especially if they were having herceptin at the same time. I’m now on the daily bisphosphonate tablets.

Thanks for that, AneAnne. I have secondaries in the bones. Had two lots of chemo, Epirubicen and Taxotere, but nobody’s mentioned bisphosphonates to me.

Belinda, are there side effects with bisphs??


Hi Angee and everyone else,
I have secondary bone cancer in too many places to mention. Only found out last year. My consultant advised bisphosphonates on a regular basis but said it was expensive. I am told its every 6/8 weeks but I thought it was every month. I was told I could only have more if I had found it helped with the pain. Consultant said it was to strengthen the bones. Don’t it just get to you when everyone tells a different story!

Here in NZ they are pushing iv bisphosphonates out to 6 weekly as there has apparently been evidence that if you did break a bone, the bisphosphonates have made bones so hard that they don’t mend naturally and surgical intervention is needed in most cases. Well, that’s what they told me anyway.


Hi all
I thought the Breast Cancer Care fact sheet on bisphosphonates may be useful to some of you so I have posted the link below:-

I hope you find this helpful.

Kind regards


Hi…I changed over to tablets because after so many infusions my veins were troublesome, it was taking numerous attempts to fit a cannula. I now get my tablets through my GP, don’t know if this would be an option AneAnne?
Hi Kiwigirl…hope you’re well…yes I’ve heard this too…bones becoming too hard…I think you had a fracture too? I had a hip fracture which is how I got my bone mets diagnosis.
Hi GrannyScouse…you can feel a bit flu like the day after the initial infusion but most of us seem to find the treatment trouble free after this…although it can take a few infusions for some and any pain can get worse before it gets better. Over 4 years on from my mets diagnosis I’m pain free which I think is partly thanks to bisphosphonates.


Bisphosphonates are also used in patients like me, with no known bone mets, but who have osteopenia, osteo-arthritis and fractures. I take Alendronic Acid, orally, once a week after having a DEXA bone scan which showed significant bone loss since starting Arimidex. I had had a DEXA scan previously, due to 30 yrs of steroids for Crohn’s which depletes the bone density, which showed some bone loss, but nothing like it has been on Arimidex. I had 2 spontaneous bone fractures in both feet last summer, spent a month in a wheelchair, and 3 weeks on crutches. Want to avoid a recurrence if I can.

On my 5 yrly review last week, my bc surgeon has referred me to an Endocrinologist who has a special interest in Arimidex side effects/bone loss/fractures. The surgeon said they are doing annual infusions of Zoledronic Acid (Zometa) at my hospital and wants me to continue with Arimidex as I had lymph node spread, but is concerned about my bone loss, hence the referral to a Professor of Endocrinology.

I have posted on this subject today in the hormonal section to see if anyone else has been referred to an Endocrinologist, and what their outcome is, but no response so far. I have had a very erudite response from the USA bc forum, confirming my belief this is the way to go, but also to check out a new drug Denosumab, which can increase bone density and prevent fractures.

Gosh, this is a whole new world - having just got to grips with the acronyms for bc!

Hi Belinda,

Going for a ct scan this arvo at 5.30 as my ca results have been steadily rising and my latest bone scan has showed signs of more activity. So it looks for me like the letrozole is starting to fail, been on it 4 years and they tell me that is a good long time for an AI. Trouble is dont get the results from the scan till next wednesday which is a major pain. Things ok with you?


I have had I.V.bisphosphonates for the past 3.5 years for spine mets and they used to be 4 weekly but I’ve now extended that to 6 weekly to coincide with seeing my oncologist (every 3 weeks).

I took bonefos (tablets) for a short period of time before I had my portacath fitted but because I had to have chemo again they decided to put me back on I.V. for my spine.

I also have a portacath because my veins gave up nearly 13 years ago after my first lot of chemo and don’t have any problem with it.


Hi Kiwigirl, Good Luck with the scan and the results. I’ve just switched to Aromasin as Arimidex failed after 2 and a half years. I’ve been told if you’ve had a good response with one hormonal you can probably expect to get a good response with the next one, 4 years sounds great…if you do have to switch I hope the next treatment works wonders for you.
(I had a great time in NZ in 2000 and again 2001…both islands.)

Hi belinda,

Had scan and it went well, didn’t disgrace myself and end up in tears (have a real fear of needles), think its because they give me ativan to take 30 minutes before I’m due for a needle. Just the waiting to get through till next week. What you mentioned about the hormonals sounds interesting as when I was last there (6wks ago) they mentioned aromasin and an oral chemo tablet capcetabine, don’t know much about that. Just have to wait and see what the ct has shown…


My fingers are crossed for you Kiwi…if you did have to change treatments Aromasin works in a completely different way to Arimidex and Letrozole so it should be a ‘surprise’ for the cancer cells…keep them quiet for a good while! I have some UK friends on Capecitabine, they’ve had a good response with it and you keep your hair.