XGEVA® (Denosumab (rch))
Information in this fact sheet is meant to assist you in making decisions about your treatment. Always make medication decisions in consultation with your healthcare team.
What is Xgeva® used for?
Xgeva® contains the active substance denosumab, which is a protein (monoclonal antibody) that attaches (binds) specifically to another unique protein in the body. This will slow down the bone destruction caused by cancer spreading to the bone (bone metastasis or bone lesions).
Xgeva® is used to prevent serious bone complications caused by bone metastasis or bone lesions, such as fractures, pressure on the spinal cord or the need to receive radiation therapy or surgery.
Xgeva® contains the same medicine as Prolia® which is used to treat osteoporosis in women after menopause.
Xgeva®, which is given at a higher dose once every four weeks, should not be used to treat osteoporosis. Your doctor, however, may prescribe Xgeva® for another purpose.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed for you.
This medicine is not addictive and is available only with a doctor's prescription. It can only be administered by a doctor or nurse.
What does Xgeva® look like?
Xgeva® is a clear, colourless to slightly yellow solution for injection, supplied in a vial. It may contain trace amounts of clear to white particles.
Xgeva® comes in a pack of one single-use vial or four single-use vials containing 120 mg of denosumab (70 mg/1.0 mL).
How is Xgeva® given?
Xgeva® is given as an injection under the skin. This is called a subcutaneous injection.
The dose is 120 mg administered once every four weeks, as a single injection under the skin.
Xgeva® will be injected into your thigh, abdomen or upper arm.
What are the common side effects?
Tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well after using Xgeva®.
All medicines can have unwanted side effects. Sometimes they are serious but most of the time they are not. Your doctor has weighed the risks of using this medicine against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them. All medicines can have side effects. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.
Ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
What are the less common side effects?
Tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist as soon as possible if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
- low level of red blood cells
These are mild, common side effects of the medicine.
Tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you notice anything that is making you feel unwell.
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some people.
If any of the following happen tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist immediately, call an ambulance or go to the Emergency Department at your nearest hospital:
- shortness of breath
- wheezing or difficulty breathing
- swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body
- rash, itching or hives on the skin.
These are very serious side effects. If you experience them, you may be having a serious allergic reaction to the medicine. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation. These side effects are very rare.
TGA Consumer Medical Information (CMI), March 2013, Xgeva®, Therapeutic Goods Administration March 2013, Canberra, viewed 2nd July 2013
Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia develops materials based on best available evidence and takes advice from recognised experts in the field in developing such resource; however it cannot guarantee and assumes no legal responsibility for the currency or completeness of the information.