If you have osteoporosis or have a risk for bone loss, your doctor might suggest Prolia (denosumab) as a treatment option for you.
Prolia is a prescription medication that treats osteoporosis and reduces bone loss in certain people. Specifically, it’s used in the following adults who have a high risk for bone fractures:
- females* with osteoporosis who’ve gone through menopause
- males* with osteoporosis
- males or females with osteoporosis who take corticosteroid medications long term
- males who are receiving certain treatments that reduce male hormone levels for prostate cancer that hasn’t spread to other areas of the body
- females who are receiving adjuvant treatment** for breast cancer with certain drugs that reduce female hormone levels
* In this article, we use the terms “male” and “female” to refer to someone’s sex assigned at birth. For information about the difference between sex and gender, see this article.
** Adjuvant treatment is used to help prevent cancer from coming back after it’s been treated in the past.
Prolia comes as a liquid solution that’s given as an injection under your skin by your doctor.
Prolia contains the active drug denosumab. It belongs to a drug class called RANK ligand inhibitors. (A drug class is a group of medications that work in a similar way.)
Over time, Prolia can reduce bone loss and make your bones stronger. Your doctor may also have you take certain supplements that contain calcium and vitamin D while you’re receiving Prolia.
This article describes the dosage of Prolia, including its form, strength, and how to take the drug. To learn more about Prolia, see this in-depth article.
Note: This article covers Prolia’s typical dosages, which are provided by the drug’s manufacturer. But when using Prolia, always take the dosage that your doctor prescribes.
This section covers common questions about the dosage of Prolia.
What is Prolia’s form?
Prolia comes as a liquid solution in a prefilled syringe. It’s given as an injection under your skin by your doctor. They’ll inject Prolia under the skin of your belly, upper arm, or upper thigh.
It’s not common, but in rare cases your doctor may advise that you inject doses of Prolia yourself. To learn more about this, see the “How is Prolia given?” section directly below.
What strength does Prolia come in?
Prolia comes as a prefilled syringe that contains 60 milligrams (mg) of the drug. Each prefilled syringe contains one milliliter of liquid solution that contains one dose of the medication.
What is the typical dosage of Prolia?
The information below describes the dosage amount of Prolia that is commonly used or recommended. However, your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
The usual Prolia injection dose is 60 mg. You’ll receive one Prolia injection every 6 months.
Is Prolia used long term?
Yes, Prolia is typically used as a long-term treatment. It’s given on a dosage schedule of one injection every 6 months. If you and your doctor determine that Prolia is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely use it long term.
Prolia is given as an injection under your skin by your doctor. They’ll inject Prolia under the skin of your belly, upper arm, or upper thigh.
If you have questions about what to expect at your injection appointments, talk with your doctor.
In rare cases, your doctor may have you self-inject Prolia at home. If your doctor advises this, they’ll show you how to inject the medication. Prolia’s manufacturer also provides some self-injection instructions, as well as a video demonstrating how to inject Prolia.
Below are answers to some common questions about Prolia’s dosage.
How many years can I take Prolia?
You can keep taking Prolia for as many years as your doctor recommends. Studies of the drug were done over a 3-year period, but it can be used for longer periods of time.
Prolia has been shown to be a safe and effective option for treating osteoporosis and reducing bone loss. As long as you’re not having trouble with side effects, your doctor may recommend using Prolia long term.
Where can I find a video showing me how to inject Prolia?
In most cases, your doctor or another healthcare professional will give you Prolia injections. Most people receive their Prolia injections at their doctor’s office or a clinic.
But in certain rare situations, your doctor may decide you can give yourself Prolia injections at home. This may not be an option for everyone. Your doctor will determine if giving yourself injections at home is right for you.
If you’ll be injecting Prolia at home, your doctor will give you dosing instructions. You can also watch this video that shows you how to inject Prolia.
If you inject Prolia at home, it’s important to dispose of used Prolia syringes properly. It’s best to use a sharps container, which you can get from most pharmacies. Or visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
How often will I receive Prolia injections?
The dosage frequency of Prolia is one injection every 6 months. If you have other questions about receiving your Prolia injections, talk with your doctor.
If you miss an appointment to get your Prolia injection, call your doctor’s office as soon as possible to reschedule. The medical staff will help you determine when you should receive your next dose of Prolia.
To help make sure that you don’t miss an appointment for your injection, try setting a reminder on your phone.
Your doctor may give you the option to inject your Prolia doses at home. This option isn’t commonly used. But if you do inject doses yourself, be careful not to use more Prolia than your doctor prescribes. Using more than this can lead to serious side effects.
What to do in case you feel you’ve received too much Prolia
Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve received too much Prolia. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach the American Association of Poison Control Centers, or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, call 911 (or your local emergency number) immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.
The sections above describe the typical dosage provided by the drug’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Prolia for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.
Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor:
- Would a lower dosage of Prolia help reduce my risk for side effects from this medication?
- Should I receive a higher dosage of Prolia if I’ve already had bone fractures?
- Will my dosage of Prolia change if my bones become stronger over time?
- Will I need to continue Prolia treatment even if my bones become stronger over time?
How will I know if my dosage of Prolia is working for me?Anonymous patient
Prolia works to reduce bone loss and lower your risk for having a fracture over time. You won’t feel the drug working in your body, but your doctor will monitor certain lab test results to check whether Prolia is working for you.
Specifically, your doctor will perform a bone mineral density test to measure your bone strength. Based on the results of this test, your doctor will determine if Prolia is effective for you.
If you have questions about whether Prolia is right for you, talk with your doctor.Neal Patel, PharmDAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.