Reclast contains zoledronic acid as an active substance. It is part of a group of medicines called bisphosphonates and is used to treat postmenopausal women and adult men with osteoporosis caused by treatment with medicine used to treat inflammation and Paget’s disease of bone in adults.
Osteoporosis is a disease that involves thinning and weakening of the bones and is common in menopausal women, but it can also occur in men. At menopause, a woman’s ovaries stop producing the female hormone estrogen, which helps maintain bone health. After menopause, there is a loss of bone tissue, and bones become weaker and break more easily.
In Paget’s disease, bone remodeling is too rapid and new bone material is formed in a disorganized manner, making it less durable than normal. If the disease is not treated, the bones become deformed, painful, and can break.
How Much Does Reclast Infusion Cost?
There are some factors that affect the total cost of Reclast infusions, such as any inclusions in the bill, whether insurance is involved, the doctor you choose, the clinic, the length of the infusion treatment, and the dose.
In case you don’t have health insurance, you should be prepared to spend anywhere between $4,500 and $10,000 for an infusion.
According to a member of the online forum HealthCentral.com, the cost of a 15-minute Reclast infusion session is around $6,000. Also, on the same forum thread, most of the prices are anywhere between $4,500 and $7,000 for those who don’t have insurance.
On another online forum, a member said that he had to pay $7,100 for his Reclast infusion treatment, but his health insurance covered $5,900 of it. According to other members, the cost of this treatment starts at around $1,800 and goes up to more than $12,000.
Most local pharmacies sell a bottle of 5mg/100ml of Reclast solution for anywhere between $1,300 and $1,500. Though, this cost is only for the medication itself and does not include the costs of the doctor, the hospital/infusion center, and other fees.
What are the additional expenses?
Once the Reclast infusion treatment is completed, you will need follow-up appointments, so the doctor can see if the therapy has worked or not.
In case the Reclast infusion therapy has negative side effects, you may be prescribed other medication or treatment to solve these problems.
Besides the cost of the medication itself, Reclast infusion has several associated costs. There are nurse fees, doctor fees, outpatient room fees, and other charges. Each infusion session has four to five different charges associated with it. So, the estimated cost we presented above will be much higher in the end. If you don’t want to have any surprises, you should ask for a written breakdown of all the possible fees associated with the Reclast infusion treatment.
Important things to consider
In osteoporosis, the usual dose is 5 mg, given once a year by your doctor or nurse as a single infusion into a vein. The infusion will last at least 15 minutes.
If you have recently fractured your hip, it is recommended that Reclast be given two or more weeks after your hip fracture surgery. It is important to take calcium and vitamin D supplements (e.g. tablets) as recommended by your doctor.
For the treatment of Paget’s disease, Reclast should only be prescribed by doctors experienced in the treatment of Paget’s bone disease. The usual dose is 5 mg, given by your doctor or nurse as an initial infusion into a vein. The infusion will last at least 15 minutes. The effect of Reclast may last for more than a year, and your doctor will let you know when you need to start the treatment again.
Patients should be adequately hydrated before the administration of Reclast. This is especially important for elderly patients and those who follow diuretic therapy. In addition, people suffering from Paget’s disease are recommended to take an adequate calcium supplement twice a day, corresponding to at least 500 mg of elementary calcium, for at least 10 days after taking Reclast.
This treatment is contraindicated for patients with hypocalcemia, pregnant and lactating women, and those with severe renal failure, due to the limited clinical experience in this segment.
Reclast side effects may include teary/red eye, diarrhea, infection/redness at the injection site, vomiting, hair loss, stomach pain, weight loss, or heartburn. Also, this infusion treatment may cause severe joint or bone pains within days of starting the therapy.
How can I save money?
The cost of the Reclast infusion treatment is covered by health insurance as long as it is deemed medically necessary. Before starting this procedure, make sure you choose a doctor that is in the network and ask the insurance company for confirmation.
The Novartis company, which manufactures the drug, provides medical assistance to those who meet certain conditions. You should visit their official website for more information.
Usually, outpatient centers can offer you a price estimate over the phone. So, call some centers and compare the costs and facilities to choose the one that works the best for you.
In general, the costs at a freestanding outpatient center are lower than at a hospital. So, try to have the Reclast infusion treatment done at an outpatient setting instead of a hospital.