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(BPT) - At the age of 53, Anita Greenstein took a bone density test at the recommendation of her friend who was a radiologist and was shocked to learn she had postmenopausal osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens bones over time making them thinner, more brittle and more likely to break or fracture.1 Over the course of having this chronic condition for the past 17 years, Anita realized that the realities of living with osteoporosis are much different than her preconceived notions before her diagnosis.
Myth #1: Postmenopausal osteoporosis is a disease of the elderly.
Anita was surprised when she was diagnosed with postmenopausal osteoporosis in her early 50’s as she always thought it was a disease in elderly women. Studies show that approximately one in two women over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.2
Myth #2: You would know if you had postmenopausal osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is often times asymptomatic, as it cannot be seen or may not be felt because the loss of bone occurs without any signs or symptoms.2 Often times, people will not find out that they have osteoporosis until they suffer from a fracture.3 “I just never really thought I would get osteoporosis so soon, but I did,” said Anita. “It snuck up on me when I wasn’t expecting it.”
Myth #3: Broken bones are the only damage caused by postmenopausal osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis can lead to many other potential complications including affecting the vertebrae, loss of height and pain. Osteoporosis may also limit mobility.2
“I felt I was growing old before my time, and was even afraid to lift up my own grandchildren out of fear of getting injured,” Anita said.
Myth #4: Once you get postmenopausal osteoporosis, there isn’t much that can be done to treat it.
Anita was determined to continue to live an active life and do what was needed to keep her healthy. Anita said, “I learned that osteoporosis was a serious disease associated with fractures and poor outcomes, so I worked closely with my doctors on a treatment plan.”
Although there is no cure for postmenopausal osteoporosis, steps can be taken to slow its progress.4 In 2011, Anita was introduced to Prolia® (denosumab) by her doctor who thought it may be a good treatment option for her. Prolia is a prescription medicine used to treat osteoporosis in women after menopause who are at high risk for fracture, meaning women who have had a fracture related to osteoporosis, or who have multiple risk factors for fracture; or who cannot use another osteoporosis medicine or other osteoporosis medicines did not work well. Prolia helps stop the development of bone-removing cells before they can reach the bones and cause damage.5
Prolia is also proven to help increase bone density. Since taking Prolia, Greenstein’s bone density has improved. Prolia is given as one shot every six months in a doctor’s office. You should take calcium and vitamin D as your doctor tells you to while you receive Prolia® (denosumab). After your treatment with Prolia is stopped, your risk for breaking bones, including bones in your spine, is increased. Do not stop taking Prolia without first talking with your doctor.5
Prolia isn’t right for everyone. 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. You should talk to your doctor to see if Prolia is right for you.5
“I want others out there who have been diagnosed or experienced a fracture to make sure they are talking to their doctor about risk factors for osteoporosis and know that treatment options are available,” said Anita. “It’s important to be your own advocate and speak to your doctor.”
Learn more at www.Prolia.com.
Prolia® is a prescription medicine used to treat osteoporosis in women after menopause who are at high risk for fracture, meaning women who have had a fracture related to osteoporosis, or who have multiple risk factors for fracture; or who cannot use another osteoporosis medicine or other osteoporosis medicines did not work well.
Important Safety Information
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® (denosumab). 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.
Increased risk of broken bones, including broken bones in the spine, after stopping Prolia®. After your treatment with Prolia® is stopped, your risk for breaking bones, including bones in your spine, is increased. Your risk for having more than 1 broken bone in your spine is increased if you have already had a broken bone in your spine. Do not stop taking Prolia® without first talking with your doctor. If your Prolia® treatment is stopped, talk to your doctor about other medicine that you can take.
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 about all of your medical conditions, including if you:
Take the medicine XGEVA® (denosumab)Have low blood calciumCannot take daily calcium and vitamin DHad 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 dialysisPlan to have dental surgery or teeth removedAre pregnant or plan to become pregnantAre breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed
What are the possible side effects of Prolia® (denosumab)?
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® in women being treated for osteoporosis after menopause 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®. 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 Prolia® Prescribing Information and Medication Guide.
1. International Osteoporosis Foundation. What Is Osteoporosis? 2015. Available at: http://www.iofbonehealth.org/what-is-osteoporosis. Accessed January 25, 2017.
2. National Osteoporosis Foundation. What is Osteoporosis and What Causes It? Available at: https://www.nof.org/patients/what-is-osteoporosis/. Accessed: January 25, 2017.
3. International Osteoporosis Foundation. Who’s at Risk? 2015. Available at: http://www.iofbonehealth.org/whos-risk. Accessed March 2017.
4. National Osteoporosis Foundation. Treatment. Available at: https://www.nof.org/patients/treatment/. Accessed February 21, 2017.
5. Prolia Prescribing Information. Available at: http://pi.amgen.com/~/media/amgen/repositorysites/pi-amgen-com/prolia/prolia_pi.ashx. Accessed March 15, 2017.