Prolia Side Effects
Back pain, skin reactions, and pain in an arm or leg are some of the more common side effects reported with Prolia. Reactions to the medication are usually minor and generally don't require treatment, but it is possible to develop serious side effects. Notify your healthcare provider immediately if you experience potentially serious problems, such as tooth problems, depression, or signs of an allergic reaction.
As with any medicine, Prolia® (denosumab) can cause side effects. However, not everyone who takes the medication will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects of this medication. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)
Prolia has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials, in which the side effects occurring in a group of people taking the drug were documented and then compared to another group taking a placebo (an injection with no active ingredient). As a result, it was possible to see what side effects occurred, how often they appeared, and how they compared to the group receiving the placebo. Both groups were instructed to take calcium and vitamin D.
In these studies, the most common side effects of Prolia included:
- Back pain -- in up to 34.7 percent of people
- Pain in an extremity (arm or leg) -- up to 11.7 percent
- Skin reactions (such as rashes or eczema) -- up to 10.8 percent
- Musculoskeletal pain (pain in muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments) -- up to 7.6 percent
- High cholesterol -- up to 7.2 percent
- Bladder infections -- up to 5.9 percent
- A spinning sensation (vertigo) -- up to 5 percent
- Upper respiratory tract infections (such as the common cold) -- up to 4.9 percent
- Swelling or water retention in the hands, arms, legs, or feet -- up to 4.9 percent
- Sciatica -- up to 4.6 percent.
Other common Prolia side effects (occurring in 2 to 3.9 percent of people) included:
- Bone pain
- Muscle pain
- Arthritis of the spine
- Chest pain
- Upper abdominal (stomach) pain
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- General weakness
- Sore throat
Keep in mind that for most of these common side effects, there was little difference between the group who received Prolia and the group who received the placebo. For instance, while 34.7 percent of people who were given Prolia experienced back pain, almost as many (34.6 percent) of the people who were given the placebo also experienced back pain.