Denosumab Osteoporosis drug (also sold under the name Prolia) was submitted to the FDA for its approval in February 2009. (The drug is also sold under the name Prolia)
Since that time it has become a popular alternative to daily or weekly tablets for the prevention of fractures in persons with Osteoporosis - especially for those with cancer.
Denosumab inhibits the formation, the activation, and the survival of osteoclasts. (the cells that remove old bone) This decreases bone resorption and it reduces cancer-induced bone destruction.
It is usually prescribed for persons who are at a high risk for fracture, those who have had a fracture because of osteoporosis, or those who have multiple risk factors for fracture. (See: Causes of Osteoporosis)
It is also prescribed for persons who for one reason or another cannot use other osteoporosis medicines or for whom other osteoporosis medicines did not work well
Denosumab, like most prescription durgs has possible side effects. Here are the main ones:
1. Serious allergic reactions such as including low blood
pressure; trouble breathing; throat tightness; swelling of
your face, lips, or tongue; rash; itching; or hives. (If any of these occur go to the nearest emergency room as quickly as possible. Be sure to tell them that you are on this drug.)
2. Low blood calcium (hypocalcemia). If you already have low blood
calcium, it may get worse during treatment and so the condition should be treated BEFORE you take this drug.
3. Like the bisphosphonates Fosamax etc. this drug can cause Oseonecrosis (bone rot) of you jaw.
4. Unusual fractures in your thigh bone. If you experience new or unusual pain in your hip, groin, or thigh see a doctor immediately.
5. Serious infections. Infections of the skin, lower
stomach area (abdomen), bladder, or ear can happen. Also inflammation of the
inner lining of your heart (endocarditis) may occur.
Note: This medication may make it more difficult for your body to fight infections. If you have a weakened immune systems or if you take medicines that affect the immune system, you may be more likely to develop serious infections.
6. Skin problems can occur. If you experience inflammation (dermatitis), rash or eczema call your health care provider. .
7. Finally some people taking this drug develop severe bone, joint, or muscle pain.
There have been many research studies about Denosumab. If you want to read summaries of some of the major ones go to Denosumab Osteoporosis studies.
Click to read about other Osteopenia Medications
or find non-pharmaceutical treatments to reverse bone loss.