RANKL inhibitors are a classification of drugs and medications that inhibit, or stop/slow the growth of particular types of proteins. These proteins are called RANK ligands (that is also how the drugs obtained their name). This type of protein acts as the primary signal for bone removal and is one of the major issues involved in conditions like osteoporosis and even a number of different forms of cancer. RANKL proteins often can overwhelm the body’s natural defenses against bone loss and destruction. RANKL inhibitors are thought to help stimulate the body’s natural processes of bone remodeling. This is how old bone tissue is continuously removed and replaced with new bone tissue. In patients with certain conditions, their endogenous RANKL inhibitors do not work properly, which can be a cause for these types of drugs.
RANKL Inhibitors Drugs
Drugs considered part of the RANKL inhibitors drug class include:
RANKL Inhibitors Uses
RANKL inhibitors are used primarily in the treatment of various types of cancer. According to many theories of how cancer develops, the RANK ligand proteins play a critical role in the process as the primary tumors begin to metastasize to the bone. This is especially true in Myeloma, breast, and prostate cancers, which have the greatest chance of inducing secondary cancers within the bones.
RANKL inhibitors do seem to can slow down or possibly even stop this cycle of primary cancer tumors turning into bone cancers and other types of cancers. In some cases, uses of these RANKL inhibitors will help to stop the binding of the RANK ligand protein to the various bones.
This type of medication has been especially useful in treating prostate cancer. This is especially true with non-metastatic patients, who have been previously treated with calcium and vitamin D treatments.
RANKL Inhibitors Side Effects
Of course, the specific side effects of RANKL inhibitors will depend on the particular medication and the patient, along with their specific type of bone, cancer, or other condition. A few studies have also shown slightly increased rates of cancer and other severe infections, but these were not statistically significant. Typically, the most common types of side effects include
RANKL Inhibitors Interactions
RANKL inhibitors do have some interactions with other drugs and even some vitamins and minerals. You should not use this medication if you have hypocalcemia, the condition of having low serum calcium levels in the blood.
People who are suffering from low levels of certain vitamins and other minerals, should also be very careful about using RANKL inhibitors. Not only does this include low calcium levels, but also low (or perhaps even very high) levels of vitamin D. Additionally, you should not be taking this medication if you have recently had any tooth extraction or oral surgery.