Prolia (Page 4 of 9)

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

Because postmarketing reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post approval use of Prolia:

  • Drug-related hypersensitivity reactions: anaphylaxis, rash, urticaria, facial swelling, and erythema
  • Hypocalcemia: severe symptomatic hypocalcemia
  • Musculoskeletal pain, including severe cases
  • Parathyroid Hormone (PTH): Marked elevation in serum PTH in patients with severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance < 30 mL/min) or receiving dialysis
  • Multiple vertebral fractures following discontinuation of Prolia
  • Cutaneous and mucosal lichenoid drug eruptions (e.g. lichen planus-like reactions)
  • Alopecia
  • Vasculitis (e.g., ANCA positive vasculitis, leukocytoclastic vasculitis)
  • Drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) syndrome

6.3 Immunogenicity

Denosumab is a human monoclonal antibody. As with all therapeutic proteins, there is potential for immunogenicity. Using an electrochemiluminescent bridging immunoassay, less than 1% (55 out of 8113) of patients treated with Prolia for up to 5 years tested positive for binding antibodies (including pre-existing, transient, and developing antibodies). None of the patients tested positive for neutralizing antibodies, as was assessed using a chemiluminescent cell-based in vitro biological assay. No evidence of altered pharmacokinetic profile, toxicity profile, or clinical response was associated with binding antibody development.

The incidence of antibody formation is highly dependent on the sensitivity and specificity of the assay. Additionally, the observed incidence of a positive antibody (including neutralizing antibody) test result may be influenced by several factors, including assay methodology, sample handling, timing of sample collection, concomitant medications, and underlying disease. For these reasons, comparison of antibodies to denosumab with the incidence of antibodies to other products may be misleading.


8.1 Pregnancy

Risk Summary

Prolia is contraindicated for use in pregnant women because it may cause harm to a fetus. There are insufficient data with denosumab use in pregnant women to inform any drug-associated risks for adverse developmental outcomes. In utero denosumab exposure from cynomolgus monkeys dosed monthly with denosumab throughout pregnancy at a dose 50-fold higher than the recommended human dose based on body weight resulted in increased fetal loss, stillbirths, and postnatal mortality, and absent lymph nodes, abnormal bone growth, and decreased neonatal growth [see Data].


Animal Data

The effects of denosumab on prenatal development have been studied in both cynomolgus monkeys and genetically engineered mice in which RANK ligand (RANKL) expression was turned off by gene removal (a “knockout mouse”). In cynomolgus monkeys dosed subcutaneously with denosumab throughout pregnancy starting at gestational day 20 and at a pharmacologically active dose 50-fold higher than the recommended human dose based on body weight, there was increased fetal loss during gestation, stillbirths, and postnatal mortality. Other findings in offspring included absence of axillary, inguinal, mandibular, and mesenteric lymph nodes; abnormal bone growth, reduced bone strength, reduced hematopoiesis, dental dysplasia, and tooth malalignment; and decreased neonatal growth. At birth out to 1 month of age, infants had measurable blood levels of denosumab (22-621% of maternal levels).

Following a recovery period from birth out to 6 months of age, the effects on bone quality and strength returned to normal; there were no adverse effects on tooth eruption, though dental dysplasia was still apparent; axillary and inguinal lymph nodes remained absent, while mandibular and mesenteric lymph nodes were present, though small; and minimal to moderate mineralization in multiple tissues was seen in one recovery animal. There was no evidence of maternal harm prior to labor; adverse maternal effects occurred infrequently during labor. Maternal mammary gland development was normal. There was no fetal NOAEL (no observable adverse effect level) established for this study because only one dose of 50 mg/kg was evaluated. Mammary gland histopathology at 6 months of age was normal in female offspring exposed to denosumab in utero ; however, development and lactation have not been fully evaluated.

In RANKL knockout mice, absence of RANKL (the target of denosumab) also caused fetal lymph node agenesis and led to postnatal impairment of dentition and bone growth. Pregnant RANKL knockout mice showed altered maturation of the maternal mammary gland, leading to impaired lactation [see Use in Specific Populations (8.2), Nonclinical Toxicology (13.2)].

The no effect dose for denosumab-induced teratogenicity is unknown. However, a Cmax of 22.9 ng/mL was identified in cynomolgus monkeys as a level in which no biologic effects (NOEL) of denosumab were observed (no inhibition of RANKL) [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

8.2 Lactation

Risk Summary

There is no information regarding the presence of denosumab in human milk, the effects on the breastfed infant, or the effects on milk production. Denosumab was detected in the maternal milk of cynomolgus monkeys up to 1 month after the last dose of denosumab (≤ 0.5% milk:serum ratio) and maternal mammary gland development was normal, with no impaired lactation. However, pregnant RANKL knockout mice showed altered maturation of the maternal mammary gland, leading to impaired lactation [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1), Nonclinical Toxicology (13.2)].

8.3 Females and Males of Reproductive Potential

Based on findings in animals, Prolia can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].

Pregnancy Testing

Verify the pregnancy status of females of reproductive potential prior to initiating Prolia treatment.



Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during therapy, and for at least 5 months after the last dose of Prolia.


Denosumab was present at low concentrations (approximately 2% of serum exposure) in the seminal fluid of male subjects given Prolia. Following vaginal intercourse, the maximum amount of denosumab delivered to a female partner would result in exposures approximately 11000 times lower than the prescribed 60 mg subcutaneous dose, and at least 38 times lower than the NOEL in monkeys.

Therefore, male condom use would not be necessary as it is unlikely that a female partner or fetus would be exposed to pharmacologically relevant concentrations of denosumab via seminal fluid [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

8.4 Pediatric Use

Prolia is not recommended in pediatric patients younger than age 4 years because of the high rates of skeletal growth and the potential for Prolia to negatively affect long-bone growth and dentition. The safety and effectiveness of Prolia in pediatric patients have not been established.

Treatment with Prolia may impair bone growth in children with open growth plates and may inhibit eruption of dentition. In neonatal rats, inhibition of RANKL (the target of Prolia therapy) with a construct of osteoprotegerin bound to Fc (OPG-Fc) at doses ≤ 10 mg/kg was associated with inhibition of bone growth and tooth eruption. Adolescent primates treated with denosumab at doses 10 and 50 times (10 and 50 mg/kg dose) higher than the recommended human dose of 60 mg administered every 6 months, based on body weight (mg/kg), had abnormal growth plates, considered to be consistent with the pharmacological activity of denosumab.

Cynomolgus monkeys exposed in utero to denosumab exhibited bone abnormalities, an absence of axillary, inguinal, mandibular, and mesenteric lymph nodes, reduced hematopoiesis, tooth malalignment, and decreased neonatal growth. Some bone abnormalities recovered once exposure was ceased following birth; however, axillary and inguinal lymph nodes remained absent 6 months post-birth [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].

8.5 Geriatric Use

Of the total number of patients in clinical studies of Prolia, 9943 patients (76%) were ≥ 65 years old, while 3576 (27%) were ≥ 75 years old. Of the patients in the osteoporosis study in men, 133 patients (55%) were ≥ 65 years old, while 39 patients (16%) were ≥ 75 years old. Of the patients in the glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis study, 355 patients (47%) were ≥ 65 years old, while 132 patients (17%) were ≥ 75 years old. No overall differences in safety or efficacy were observed between these patients and younger patients, and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.

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