Prolia vs Fosamax – Comparison of Side Effects & Uses

Prolia

It is the brand name of a medication called denosumab, which belongs to a family of medications known as monoclonal antibodies.

This drug works by reducing the amount of bone the human body breaks down. This makes the bones less likely to break.

It is produced by Amgen, Inc., an American biopharmaceutical company with the headquarters in Thousand Oaks, California. It was first approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2010.

Uses

This medication is used:

  • to increase bone mass in men at high risk for fracture receiving androgen deprivation therapy (an antihormone therapy whose main use is in treating prostate cancer);
  • for the treatment of postmenopausal women with osteoporosis at high risk for fracture;
  • to increase bone mass in women at high risk for fracture receiving adjuvant aromatase inhibitor therapy of early breast cancer.

Dosage

This medication comes in an injectable form to be given under the skin and is given once every 6 months.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • pain in the arms or legs;
  • muscle pain;
  • back pain;
  • bladder infection (painful or difficult urination).

Less common side effects may include:

  • night sweats;
  • severe pain in the bones, muscles, or joints;
  • muscle tightness or contraction;
  • unusual pain in the groin, hip, or thigh;
  • burning when you urinate;
  • a tingly feeling in the mouth or in the fingers or toes;
  • an urgent need to urinate;
  • skin peeling, dryness, itching, redness, or crusting;
  • severe stomach pain;
  • overactive reflexes;
  • redness anywhere on the body;
  • feeling short of breath;
  • fever (high temperature).

To make sure that this medication is safe for you, tell your healthcare professional if you have:

  • a weak immune system;
  • a history of thyroid surgery;
  • a history of hypoparathyroidism;
  • if you are on dialysis;
  • any condition which makes it hard for the body to absorb nutrients from food;
  • kidney disease;
  • if you are allergic to latex;
  • a history of surgery to remove part of the intestines.

Alcoholalcohol

It is recommended to avoid or limit consuming alcoholic beverages while taking this medication.

Drug Interactions

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • steroids, like – Artispan (triamcinolone), Uceris, Aristocort, hydrocortisone, or Medrol Dose Pak (methylprednisolone);
  • kerydin;
  • cancer drugs, like – Busulfex (busulfan), Bicnu (carmustine), Otrexup (methotrexate), Leukeran (chlorambucil), and Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide);
  • biologicals, like – Kineret (anakinra), Orencia (abatacept), or Humira (adalimumab).

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

It is not known precisely if this medication crosses into human milk and negatively affects the baby. Talk to your healthcare professional and then decide if the benefits outweigh the risks of using this drug.

Also, this drug falls into category X. This means that studies have shown that women taking this medication during pregnancy may have babies born with problems.

Fosamax

It is the brand name of a medication called alendronate, which belongs to a class of medications known as bisphosphonates.

Mechanims of Action

This medication works by increasing bone density and preventing bone breakdown.

It is produced by Merck & Co, an American pharmaceutical company. The US Food and Drug Administration first approved it in 1995.

Uses

This prescription medication is typically used to treat Paget’s disease (a chronic bone disorder) and osteoporosis in women and men. It is also used to prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.

Dosage

For the prevention of osteoporosis, the usual recommended adult dose is 35 mg orally once a week or 5 mg orally once a day. Take the medication dissolved in a half glass of water, on an empty stomach.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • constipation;
  • upset stomach;
  • bone pain;
  • diarrhea;
  • muscle or joint pain;
  • heartburn;
  • nausea;
  • stomach pain.

Rare side effects may include:

  • difficulty or pain when swallowing;
  • new or worsening heartburn;
  • unusual pain in your thigh or hip;
  • chest pain;
  • severe bone, joint, or muscle pain;
  • pain under the ribs or in the back;
  • numbness or tingly feeling (around the mouth);
  • severe heartburn;
  • muscle spasms or contractions;
  • coughing up blood;
  • numbness, jaw pain, or swelling;
  • burning pain in your upper stomach.

To make sure that this drug is safe for you, tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had:

  • hypocalcemia;
  • trouble swallowing;
  • kidney disease;
  • problems with the digestion or stomach;
  • any condition which makes it hard for the body to absorb nutrients from food;
  • a dental problem.

Alcohol

Drinking alcoholic beverages while taking this medication can increase your risk of stomach side effects from this medication.

Drug Interactionsdrugs pills meds

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • aspirin;
  • Advil (ibuprofen);
  • gabapentin;
  • alendronate;
  • Lasix (furosemide);
  • Aleve (naproxen);
  • levothyroxine;
  • Evista (raloxifene);
  • metoprolol;
  • Lipitor (atorvastatin);
  • omeprazole;
  • hydroxycut;
  • lisinopril;
  • Prilosec (omeprazole);
  • metformin;
  • Synthroid (levothyroxine);
  • Nexium (esomeprazole);
  • Tylenol (acetaminophen);
  • Plavix (clopidogrel);
  • simvastatin;
  • prednisone.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

It is not known exactly if this medication passes into a woman’s milk while breastfeeding. Talk with your healthcare provider before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Moreover, it might cause harm to a woman’s unborn baby. Hence, this medication should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the unborn baby.

Bottom Line – Prolia vs Fosamax

Prolia (active ingredient – denosumab) is a drug which is used to treat osteoporosis as well as to treat bone loss in individuals receiving certain treatments for prostate cancer. It can be found only as a subcutaneous injection.

Fosamax (active ingredient – alendronate) is a bisphosphonate medicine that is used to treat Paget’s disease of bone in men and women, to increase bone mass in men who have osteoporosis, and to treat or prevent osteoporosis caused by menopause.

According to a 2012 study that was done at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hangzhou, China, 1 year 60 mg denosumab treatment was more effective in increasing bone mass than 70 mg alendronate therapy.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3387828/
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2405525517300043

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment