Skip to main content

Denosumab (Subcutaneous route)

Pronunciation:

den-OSE-ue-mab

Brand Names:

  • Prolia
  • Xgeva

Dosage Forms:

  • Solution

Classifications:

Therapeutic—

Immunological Agent

Pharmacologic—

Monoclonal Antibody

Uses of This Medicine:

Denosumab injection is used to treat osteoporosis (thinning of the bones) in women who have an increased risk for fractures after menopause, and osteoporosis in men. It is given when other medicines cannot be used or after other medicines did not work well.

Denosumab injection is also used to treat bone loss in men with prostate cancer and women with breast cancer who are receiving cancer treatment. It is used to prevent bone problems in patients with bone metastases (cancer that has spread) from tumors. Denosumab is used to treat giant cell tumor of the bone that cannot be removed by surgery.

This medicine is to be given only by or under the supervision of your doctor.

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies—

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children—

Use of denosumab injection is not recommended in the pediatric population, except for teenagers with giant cell tumor of the bone. The safety and efficacy of denosumab for other conditions have not been established.

Older adults—

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of denosumab injection in the elderly.

Pregnancy—

Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersXStudies in animals or pregnant women have demonstrated positive evidence of fetal abnormalities. This drug should not be used in women who are or may become pregnant because the risk clearly outweighs any possible benefit.

Breast-feeding—

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Other medicines—

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other interactions—

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems—

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Anemia or
  • Blood clotting problems or
  • Cancer or
  • Dental disease, history of or
  • Dental implants, history of or
  • Dentures that don't fit well or
  • Gum disease or
  • Hypoparathyroidism (underactive parathyroid gland), history of or
  • Kidney problems, severe and may require dialysis or
  • Malabsorption syndrome (trouble absorbing food), history of or
  • Mouth surgery, history of or
  • Parathyroid surgery, history of or
  • Thyroid surgery, history of or
  • Tooth extraction, history of—May cause side effects to become worse.
  • Ear infection or
  • Eczema or
  • Endocarditis (heart infection) or
  • Skin infections or
  • Skin rashes or
  • Stomach infection or
  • Urinary tract infection—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Hypocalcemia (low calcium in the blood)—Should not be given to patients with this condition.

Proper Use of This Medicine:

A doctor or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin, usually on the upper arm, upper thigh, or stomach.

Prolia® is usually given once every 6 months, and Xgeva® is usually given once every 4 weeks. Your doctor may also give you vitamin D and calcium supplements. Follow the instructions about how to take these medicines.

This medicine comes with a Medication Guide. Read the information carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

Missed dose—

This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

It is important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Prolia® contains denosumab which can also be found in Xgeva®. Patients using Prolia® should not receive Xgeva®.

Your unborn baby could be harmed if you use this medicine while you are pregnant. Women receiving Xgeva® should use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant during treatment and for at least 5 months after the last dose. There is also a potential for this medicine to cause birth defects if the father is using it when his sexual partner becomes pregnant. If a pregnancy occurs while you are receiving this medicine, tell your doctor right away.

This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor or nurse right away if you have a rash, lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting, itching, swelling of the face, tongue, and throat, trouble breathing, or chest pain after you get the injection.

This medicine may cause hypocalcemia (low calcium in the blood). A low blood calcium must be treated before you receive this medicine. Call your doctor right away if you have muscle spasms or twitching, or numbness or tingling in your fingers, toes, or around your mouth.

Prolia® may increase your risk of developing infections. Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections while you are using this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have a fever or chills, red, swollen skin, severe abdominal or stomach pain, or burning or painful urination.

Skin problems may occur after receiving Prolia®. Check with your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms that do not go away or get worse: blistering, crusting, irritation, itching, or reddening of the skin, cracked, dry, or scaly skin, rash, or swollen skin.

It is important that you tell all of your doctors that you are receiving denosumab injection, including your dentist. If you are having dental procedures while receiving this medicine, you may have an increased chance of having a severe problem with your jaw. Make sure you tell your doctor or dentist about any new problems, such as pain or swelling, with your teeth or jaw.

The needle cover of the prefilled Prolia® syringe contains dry natural rubber (a derivative of latex), which may cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to latex. Tell your doctor if you have a latex allergy before you start using this medicine.

This medicine may increase your risk of developing fractures of the thigh bone. This may be more common if you use it for a long time. Check with your doctor right away if you have a dull or aching pain in the thigh, groin, or hips.

Check with your doctor right away if you have severe muscle, bone, or joint pain after receiving Prolia®.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
Back pain
blistering, crusting, irritation, itching, or reddening of the skin
bloody or cloudy urine
cracked, dry, or scaly skin
difficult, burning, or painful urination
frequent urge to urinate
muscle or bone pain
pain in the arms or legs
rash
skin rash, encrusted, scaly, and oozing
swelling
Less common
Abdominal or stomach cramps
arm or jaw pain
bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
body aches or pain
chest pain or discomfort
chest tightness or heaviness
confusion
congestion
convulsions
cough
difficulty with breathing
difficulty with moving
dryness or soreness of the throat
ear congestion
fast or irregular heartbeat
fever or chills
headache
hoarseness
joint pain
loss of voice
muscle cramps in the hands, arms, feet, legs, or face
muscle stiffness
numbness and tingling around the mouth, fingertips, hands, or feet
pain in the lower back, bottom, or hips
pain in the upper leg
painful blisters on the trunk of the body
pale skin
rapid weight gain
runny or stuffy nose
sneezing
swollen joints
tender, swollen glands in the neck
tremor
trouble swallowing
troubled breathing with exertion
unusual bleeding or bruising
unusual tiredness or weakness
unusual weight gain or loss
voice changes
Rare
Abdominal or stomach discomfort
blood in the stool
change in bowel habits
clear or bloody discharge from the nipple
constipation
darkened urine
difficulty with swallowing or eating
dimpling of the breast skin
indigestion
inverted nipple
itching, pain, redness, swelling, tenderness, or warmth on the skin
loss of appetite
lower back or side pain
lump in the breast or under the arm
lump or swelling in the abdomen or stomach
nausea
pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
persistent crusting or scaling of the nipple
raised, firm, and bright red patches of the skin on the arm or leg
redness or swelling of the breast
sore on the skin of the breast that does not heal
unexplained weight loss
vomiting
yellow eyes or skin
Incidence not known
Heavy feeling in the jaw
loose teeth
pain, swelling, or numbness in the mouth or jaw

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Less common
Dizziness or lightheadedness
excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
full feeling
heartburn
lack or loss of strength
passing gas
redness, pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the shot was given
sensation of spinning
trouble sleeping
upper abdominal or stomach pain

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Updated: 11/4/2014

Copyright © 1984- Thomson Micromedex. All rights reserved.

Thomson & A.D.A.M