Frequently Asked Questions

These are some of the more frequently asked questions and answers you can expect from your patients when initiating them on Prolia.

What is Prolia?

Prolia is an osteoporosis treatment for women after menopause who have an increased risk for fractures or cannot use other osteoporosis medication or for whom other osteoporosis medications did not work well. Prolia is also used to increase bone mass in men with osteoporosis at high risk for fracture.

How does Prolia work?

Bones are constantly changing. Normally, there is a balance between the cells that remove old bone and those that create new bone. With osteoporosis, more bone is removed than is replaced, which causes thinning and weakening of the bones and makes them more likely to break.

Prolia works by blocking RANK ligand, a protein that activates cells that break down bone. Prolia strengthens bones by increasing bone mass. This lowers the chance of breaking bones of the hip, spine and non-spinal sites.

Does Prolia cause any side effects?

Like all medications, Prolia can cause side effects although not everybody gets them.

These are not all the possible symptoms or side effects you may experience; if you are concerned about any effects you experience you should contact your healthcare professional.

Possible side effects include:

  • Pain, sometimes severe, in the muscles, joints, arms, legs or back.
  • Low blood calcium levels. Tell your doctor right away if you experience symptoms that may include muscle spasms, twitches, cramps, numbness or tingling in fingers, toes or around the mouth. This was reported in less than 0.1% of patients taking Prolia.
  • Allergic reactions (e.g. rash, hives, or in rare cases, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, throat or trouble breathing)
  • Allergic reaction that can damage blood vessels mainly in the skin (e.g., purple or brownish-red spots, hives or skin sores)
  • Severe allergic reaction (drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms [DRESS] syndrome) with skin rash/blisters, fever and/or increase in a type of white blood cell (eosinophils) with possible organ damage, such as liver, kidney, or lung
  • A skin condition with itching, redness and/or dryness (eczema). This was reported in 1% to 10% of patients taking Prolia. Injection site reactions were uncommon.
  • Rash that may occur on the skin or sores in the mouth (lichenoid drug eruption)
  • Hair loss (alopecia)
  • Tell your doctor right away if you experience the symptoms of skin infection – swollen, red area of skin that feels hot and tender and may be accompanied by fever (cellulitis)
  • Common cold (runny nose or sore throat).
  • Broken bones in the spine after stopping Prolia (multiple vertebral fractures)

Tell your doctor right away if you have frequent or urgent need to urinate or burning feeling when you urinate (bladder infection), severe stomach pains (pancreatitis) or ear infection. Tell your doctor if you have any of the following skin problems that do not go away or get worse: redness; itching; rash; dry or leathery skin; open, crusted or peeling skin; blisters. Any dental symptoms, including pain or unusual feeling in your teeth or gums, or any dental infections (osteonecrosis of the jaw); or new or unusual pain in your hip, groin or thigh (fracture of the thigh bone).

What about the risks after Prolia treatment is stopped?

After your treatment with Prolia is stopped, it is possible that broken bones in your spine may occur especially if you have a history of broken bones in the spine. Do not stop taking Prolia without first talking with your doctor. If your Prolia treatment is stopped, discuss other available treatment options with your doctor.

These are not all the possible symptoms or side effects that you may experience – it is important to contact your doctor or pharmacist if you are concerned about potential side effects you may be experiencing with your Prolia treatment.

When and how should I take Prolia?

It is important to receive your Prolia injection every 6 months and to follow your doctor’s instructions for calcium and vitamin D supplementation.

Prolia is taken as an injection just under the skin in your upper arm, upper thigh or abdomen. It can be given to you at any time of day by a healthcare professional or a trained injector and it can be given with or without food.

How will I remember to take Prolia? How will I stay on track?

The ProVital Support Program will help you stay on track with your Prolia treatment. As a member of the program, you will receive ongoing communications to help you manage your osteoporosis and your Prolia appointments.

Services include:

  • Access to a ProVital support team member via telephone to answer any questions you may have about Prolia or your drug plan coverage
  • A reminder call one month before your appointment is due
  • Educational newsletters to learn more about managing osteoporosis, including information about daily intake of calcium and vitamin D, foods to include in your diet, plus exercise tips and other valuable information

You can also ask your doctor for the reminder card with calendar stickers that come inside the box of Prolia to help you remember your next appointment.

How do I enroll in the ProVital Support Program?

Sign the ProVital fax enrolment form in your doctor’s office and fax to 1-877-776-1022, or call 1-877-776-1002.

Where can I find more information?

Prolia.ca is your online resource for answers to frequently asked questions about Prolia and postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Download the Prolia® patient information sheet

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Clinical Practice Guidelines

Get access to the 2010 Osteoporosis Clinical Practice Guidelines in the Prolia.ca virtual library.

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