Prolia Dosage And Useful Information You Need

Not every drug works for every patient. Some solutions that the healthcare industry creates only work as intended for certain people under specific conditions. When people are resistant to the drugs most commonly used to treat certain ailments, as with people suffering from treatment-resistant depression, it’s essential to look into alternative ways of treating these same conditions. Prolia is a good example of this type of drug.Prolia is a relatively new drug most often prescribed to treat people with osteoporosis or low bone mass who haven’t responded well to other treatments. But this medication has the potential to create problems as well as solve them.

What Is Prolia?

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Our bones are in a perpetual state of growth. Bone cells called osteoclasts, when given the appropriate signal, remove bone tissue so that other cells called osteoblasts can regrow it. This is a process that completely replaces our skeletons at age 1 and continues slowly “editing” our frames throughout adulthood. Problems arise when the signals that tell these cells to function are imbalanced. One serious, degenerative problem that can result is osteoporosis.Osteoporosis is a disease that gradually makes the entire skeleton weaker than it should be. This happens when the mechanics that cause us to recreate our bones over time tilt towards bone resorption instead of being in equilibrium. Since the bone remodeling cells are removing more bone material than they create, bones become weaker, more brittle, and more susceptible to fracture. Two things that contribute to this disease are estrogen deficiency during menopause for females and androgen deficiency in males.

Osteoporosis Treatments

Osteoporosis Treatments

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There are a variety of ways to treat osteoporosis. The most immediate answer is to take large doses of vitamin D and calcium supplements in some form. Our bones rely on calcium to grow and vitamin D to absorb that calcium properly. A simple, enjoyable way of supplementing vitamin D is by basking in the sun’s rays. Calcium supplements are great for people at risk for osteoporosis or who already have the disease.Today, there are also dozens of drugs available to treat osteoporosis. Most are classified as antiresorptive drugs. Bisphosphonates and raloxifene minimize bone resorption to prevent bones from becoming fragile due to bone loss. However, each of these treatments has the potential to create new complications down the line, and some can only be used safely for a few years.Since osteoporosis diagnosis is something the patient must deal with for the rest of his or her life, alternative solutions are always sought after. One relatively new solution that some doctors may suggest is Prolia.

Increased Inhibitions

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RANKL is a protein that controls the function of cells related to bone resorption. Overproduction of this protein is associated with bone-related maladies like arthritis and osteoporosis. Prolia, otherwise known by its generic name denosumab, is a drug that targets inhibition (curbing production) of this protein directly. With the protein necessary for bone resorption being inhibited, bone resorption decreases and overall bone mass and strength improves.Doctors may prescribe Prolia for people with osteoporosis that may not respond as well to other treatments like bisphosphonates. These medications are most often given to postmenopausal women with osteoporosis and a high risk for future fractures and also to some men with similar risks.

Uses Beyond Osteoporosis Patients

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Prolia may be prescribed for some patients without an osteoporosis diagnosis. For example, patients may be treated with other medications that decrease bone mass such as androgen deprivation therapy for men and adjuvant aromatase inhibitor therapy for women. In such cases, Prolia may be prescribed to keep bone mass high. Patients typically take calcium and need a certain amount of vitamin D alongside Prolia regardless of their specific reasons for taking it. This is because this medication use can lower a person’s calcium levels.Here are a few brief notes on this drug’s administration, formulation, and complications:

  1. Injections are typically given through the skin along one appendage or the abdomen.
  2. Only healthcare professionals should administer a Prolia injection since improper injections lead to a wide-ranging list of complications.
  3. Prolia is usually a clear, liquid solution derived from genetically engineered Chinese hamster ovary cells.
  4. Even when administered correctly, the drug can have numerous complications that should be considered for anyone considering taking it.

Prolia Complications

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Prolia’s complications are generally related to its benefits. Inhibiting the RANKL protein has a double-edged effect. While it may decrease bone resorption occurring throughout the body, RANKL is also associated with our immune systems. When it’s inhibited, that can weaken our immune systems and increase susceptibility to other diseases.RANKL also has a role in preventing our immune system from attacking itself. So, while Prolia won’t create or directly cause an autoimmune disorder, its effects on your immune system can still be detrimental. Taking this drug can increase your chances of infection. Some possible side effects may include:

  • Reddened, tender skin
  • Intense abdominal pain
  • Ear pain or discharge
  • Hearing issues
  • Painful or burning urination
  • Pink or bloody urine

Prolia can lower your calcium levels as well. Since the drug is nearly always taken alongside calcium and vitamin D supplements, this might not pose a danger. But if you feel muscle spasms, sudden mood changes, tingling sensations, irregular or quickened heartbeats, dizziness, fainting, or seizures, know that these symptoms may be by-products of taking the drug.One of the most discussed side effects is an increased risk for bone fracture after a patient stops taking Prolia. The bone-improving effects only last for as long as you’re taking the drug. A post-hoc analysis of a clinical trial for people taking denosumab found that their risk for multiple vertebral fractures increased after they finished taking it.

Other Possible Risks

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Avoid Prolia if you have an allergy to latex since the injections use dry rubber that can trigger a patient’s allergies. The drug may affect unborn babies and should be avoided if a patient is pregnant.Low calcium levels are still a concern despite taking supplements. Symptoms of this deficiency, which is called hypocalcemia, include muscle spasms, numbness, tingling sensations in the extremities or mouth, and twitching.Rashes are possible while taking Prolia. They might include blistering, irritation, itchiness, crusting, and skin reddening. Osteonecrosis of the jaw is another possibility with this drug. As a result, telling both your doctor and dentist about this prescription is crucial to avoiding teeth-bound detriments.Far more common side effects include back pain, extremity pain, hypercholesterolemia, musculoskeletal pain, arthralgia, and nasopharyngitis.

How to Administer Prolia

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Prolia is usually administered in 60mg doses every six months. Increasing doses may increase the likelihood of side effects, but missing a dose does, too. Since missing a dose causes a patient’s bone resorption rates to return to normal (which was at one point considered risky), it should only happen with the confirmation of a licensed healthcare professional.The person injecting the solution should inspect it first. Normally Prolia is a clear, colorless, or dull yellow solution with white bits of protein interspersed. The solution shouldn’t be used if it doesn’t look like this.Prolia must be stored away from direct light and heat at a few degrees above freezing temperature: 36 to 46 degrees F.  Before using a dose, it can be warmed by allowing it to rest somewhere at room temperature. This medication cannot exceed about 76 degrees F. and should be used within two weeks or thrown away.Prolia can be injected via pre-filled syringes or single-use vials. Syringes have a green safety guard over them to prevent accidental injections. The only time it should be unlocked is for the injection. Doing so any time beforehand will prevent the injection from happening.

Injecting Prolia Step-by-Step

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  1. Take the gray needle cap off of the syringe. Do not put it back on at any point during the administration process.
  2. Pick a place to inject the patient. This can be the upper thigh, upper arm, or abdomen.
  3. Insert the needle and inject the liquid subcutaneously, or directly into the layer of fat lying between our skin and muscles.
  4. Hold the plastic finger grip at the end of the syringe opposite the needle.
  5. The other hand should grasp the safety guard at its base and gently slide it towards the needle until you hear a click.
  6. Throw away the syringe.

It’s advisable for physicians to monitor levels of serum creatine, serum calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, while also watching for symptoms of low calcium levels, infection, adverse skin reactions, or oral discomfort.

Conclusion

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Prolia is a useful drug under certain circumstances. If you have osteoporosis and your body didn’t respond well to typical treatments, Prolia might help. However, the curious should apply caution. This medication has been a controversial medicinal tool in recent years and requires a thorough examination of an individual’s needs to determine if it’s the best way to treat a patient or not. Talk to your doctor if you are wondering whether Prolia is right for you.