IV Boniva is the same medication (Ibandronate) as regular Boniva. Because it is given as a shot into a vein (IV) it has no heartburn, GERD, esophagus or stomach issues. This makes it an antiresorptive which can be used if you have GERD.
It takes less than a minute to give IV Boniva in the office with a total stay of about 15 minutes.
IV Boniva is given every 3 months. It is 3 times as much drug as the oral Boniva dose gives. This higher dose means that you must have normal kidney function for the drug to be safe. IV Boniva requires a GFR of at least 30. As long as your kidneys are functioning this well, IV Boniva is safe. Many individuals over 90 and some who are younger no longer have kidney function this good.
IV Boniva is more concentrated and therefore more effective in stopping osteoclast cells that eat away bone from releasing calcium from the bone. Therefore, IV Boniva can be dangerous without enough Calcium and Vitamin D every day for the first few weeks after a dose.
Boniva had been used in a few patients with rare cases of Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ) and Atypical Fractures of the Femur. There is not yet any conclusive evidence that Boniva, or any other Antiresorptive or Bisphosphonate, causes these conditions.
IV Boniva is a Bisphosphonate and has the same safety and effectiveness issues as others in this class except that it has no GI issues. Read about these issues in the sections about Antiresorptives, Bisphosphonates, and IV Bisphosphonates.
Jay Ginther, MD
2008 / Revised April 2011