It's been 9 or 10 years now that I've had postmenopausal osteoporosis.
I made a decision right when I was first diagnosed, that I'd do everything I could to try to help strengthen my bones.
The one thing that I was scared of, was to be a person who's constantly worrying, oh, I can't do this, I can't do that, I might trip, I might fall. But I'm so happy to say, that hasn't happened.
One of the first things I learned was that to help strengthen my bones, I needed to exercise. So I started a walking group with a friend of mine. It's been wonderful. It's good for my bones, and it's just a super, friendly group of women.
We all have our stories…
Half of us have postmenopausal osteoporosis now, but I've been dealing with it the longest, so I'm kind of considered the expert.
And I'm always the one asking the other women, now are you getting enough calcium and vitamin D? When's your next DXA scan? Have you taken your medication? I was always good about taking my medication... back when I was taking pills for my postmenopausal osteoporosis.
Then one day I went for my next appointment. And you understand I thought I was doing everything right. Everyone thought I was doing everything right. The exercise, the calcium, the vitamin D, and taking my medication. But guess what?
I met with my doctor and we discussed my management plan and test results, and she said she felt that in my case, my osteoporosis medicine did not work well, and that she really thought I should try something else.
That's how I first heard about Prolia®, also known as denosumab. And we talked it through. Being the expert I wanted to know all about it. How Prolia® helps protect bones from fractures. How it helps strengthen bones. What the side effects are that I might experience.
And how it's taken: one shot every 6 months in my Doctor's office. My doctor thought this might be an option for me – and that's when she put me on Prolia®. I'm still out walking with the group every week, taking calcium and vitamin D as my doctor told me to.
So I hope I have a lot more walking in me.
Here's some Important Safety Information you should know about Prolia®.
Do not take Prolia® if you: have low blood calcium; or are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, as Prolia® may harm your unborn baby; or are allergic to denosumab or any ingredients in Prolia®.
What is the most important information I should know about Prolia®?
If you receive Prolia®, you should not receive XGEVA®. Prolia® contains the same medicine as XGEVA® (denosumab).
Prolia® can cause serious side effects:
Serious allergic reactions have happened in people who take Prolia®. Call your doctor or go to your nearest emergency room right away if you have any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including low blood pressure (hypotension); trouble breathing; throat tightness; swelling of your face, lips, or tongue; rash; itching; or hives.
Low blood calcium (hypocalcemia). Prolia® may lower the calcium levels in your blood. If you have low blood calcium, it may get worse during treatment. Your low blood calcium must be treated before you receive Prolia®.
Take calcium and vitamin D as your doctor tells you to help prevent low blood calcium.
Severe jaw bone problems (osteonecrosis) may occur. Your doctor should examine your mouth before you start Prolia® and may tell you to see your dentist. It is important for you to practice good mouth care during treatment with Prolia®.
Unusual thigh bone fractures. Some people have developed unusual fractures in their thigh bone. Symptoms of a fracture include new or unusual pain in your hip, groin, or thigh.
Serious infections in your skin, lower stomach area (abdomen), bladder, or ear may happen. Inflammation of the inner lining of the heart (endocarditis) due to an infection may also happen more often in people who take Prolia®. You may need to go to the hospital for treatment.
Prolia® is a medicine that may affect the ability of your body to fight infections. People who have weakened immune systems or take medicines that affect the immune system may have an increased risk for developing serious infections.
Skin problems such as inflammation of your skin (dermatitis), rash, and eczema have been reported.
Bone, joint, or muscle pain. Some people who take Prolia® develop severe bone, joint, or muscle pain.
Before taking Prolia®, tell your doctor if you:
- Take the medicine XGEVA® (denosumab)
- Have low blood calcium
- Cannot take daily calcium and vitamin D
- Had parathyroid or thyroid surgery (glands located in your neck)
- Have been told you have trouble absorbing minerals in your stomach or intestines (malabsorption syndrome)
- Have kidney problems or are on kidney dialysis
- Plan to have dental surgery or teeth removed
- Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
- Are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed
What are the possible side effects of Prolia®?
It is not known if the use of Prolia® over a long period of time may cause slow healing of broken bones. The most common side effects of Prolia® are back pain, pain in your arms and legs, high cholesterol, muscle pain, and bladder infection.
These are not all the possible side effects of Prolia®. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Please see Prescribing Information and Medication Guide for complete details about Prolia®.
My doctor gave me a lot of good information about how Prolia® can help strengthen my bones. And now when I'm talking to my friends, one of the things I'm always saying is, "Maybe you should talk to your doctor about how you're managing your postmenopausal osteoporosis."