Brand Name(s): Xgeva, Prolia
Drug Class: Monoclonal Antibodies
Treats: Bone Fracture Prophylaxis, Osteoporosis in Postmenopausal Women, Bone Metastases
Denosumab belongs to a class of drugs known as monoclonal antibodies. Specifically, this drug works as a RANKL inhibitor. By inhibiting RANKL, denosumab achieves its effect by inhibiting the activation of osteoclasts, and its osteoclasts that are responsible for the breakdown of bone.In essence, denosumab prevents bone destruction. This is why it's used to treat conditions such as osteoporosis and act as a prophylaxis in patients who are at high risk of suffering a fracture, such as post-menopausal women. Denosumab has also proven effective in patients who are receiving chemotherapy, as the latter is often responsible for weakening the strength of bones.
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Denosumab is used to protect bones from further spreading damage caused by cancer. By using monoclonal antibodies to destroy certain cells, Denosumab can help prevent bone fractures in people who suffer from prostate cancer and breast cancer.
Denosumab can also be used to treat a particular condition known as giant cell tumor of the bone.
Below you will find the different types of conditions that can be treated by using Denosumab:
- Osteoporosis (When other medications have failed)
- Breast cancer
- Prostate cancer
Denosumab dosage is dependent on the individual that it is being administered to. The following dosage is an average dose and could differ among individuals. Follow your medical professional's directions for best results.
Below you will find the Denosumab dosages for it's two main uses: Osteoporosis and Bone Metastases
- Adult Dose: 60mg injected subcutaneously every 6 months
- Adult Dose: 120mg injected subcutaneously every 4 weeks
Denosumab Side Effects
The side-effect profile of denosumab tends to focus on dermatological symptoms and susceptibility to infection. These symptoms can manifest from the very mild to severe. However, some patients will experience no side-effects on administration of denosumab. However, you should be aware of the potential adverse effects of this medicine.
The list below is by no means an exhaustive list though it highlights some of the more commonly reported side-effects of this drug. Consult your doctor should you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Respiratory tract infections
- Back and joint pain
- Dry skin and skin rashes
- Muscle pain
- Reddening of the skin
- Jaw pain
In terms of drug interactions, there is insufficient evidence for serious drug reactions, not least because more research needs to be performed. Currently, there are no known serious drug interactions with denosumab.
However, the drug posses several other interactions patients should be aware of.
- Denosumab should not be prescribed for patients who have been diagnosed with hypocalcemia.
- Thus, tests may be performed in some patients for whom it is deemed a risk to begin therapy.
- In other words, patients must have sufficient levels of both calcium and vitamin D.
- If not, the side-effect profile of denosumab may be raised.