Senior Health Home > Denosumab

Denosumab is a medication that is used to treat osteoporosis in certain people and to prevent bone problems in people with certain types of cancer. Besides slowing the breakdown of bones, the drug can also increase bone mineral density. A healthcare provider will administer this medicine by injection once every six months. Side effects may include back pain and high cholesterol.

What Is Denosumab?

Denosumab (Prolia®, Xgeva®) is a prescription medication approved for two very different uses.
Prolia (given twice a year) is used to treat osteoporosis. Specifically, it is approved for use in postmenopausal women who are at a high risk for fractures (broken bones) and in people who have tried other osteoporosis treatments without success (or are intolerant of such treatments).
Xgeva (given once a month) is approved to prevent bone problems in people with certain types of cancer that has spread to the bones.
(Click What Is Denosumab Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Are There Side Effects?

Just like any medicine, denosumab can cause side effects. However, not everyone who uses the drug will experience problems. Most people tolerate it quite well.
If reactions do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
Common side effects of denosumab include but are not limited to:
  • General weakness and/or fatigue
  • Low phosphate levels in the blood (as measured by a blood test)
  • Nausea.


(Click Side Effects of Denosumab to learn more, including potentially serious side effects that you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
List of references (click here):
Other Articles in This eMedTV Presentation

Topics & Medications


Related Channels

eMedTV Links
Copyright © 2006-2021 Clinaero, Inc.

eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.

This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.