Xgeva (generic name Denosumab) is a medication often prescribed to people with multiple myeloma or those with cancer that has spread to their bones. The medication is given via an injection under your skin every four weeks. A healthcare professional will administer the injection in your abdomen, upper thigh, or upper arm.

Precautions and Warnings with Xgeva

Discuss any potential allergies you might have with your doctor or pharmacist. Many medications contain inactive ingredients that could trigger an allergic reaction. You should also talk with a medical professional about your medical history, particularly if you have ever had low levels of calcium in your blood (hypocalcemia) or kidney disease.

Some people who take Xgeva could develop serious jawbone issues. Inform your dentist that you’re taking this medication before having any dental work done, and ensure your doctor confirms your mouth is healthy enough to begin a regimen.

Xgeva is typically not suitable for children, excluding extreme situations where it can be used to treat a giant cell tumor of the bone.

Xgeva Side Effects

Let your doctor know if you experience severe side effects, including bone or joint pain, jaw pain, hip or groin pain, or shortness of breath.

Common Side Effects

Common side effects of Xgeva include:

  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Back pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness

Severe Side Effects

Xgeva can also cause calcium levels in your blood to drop to dangerous levels (hypocalcemia). This risk is greater in those with kidney problems. Your doctor may direct you to take calcium and vitamin D to counteract this.

Xgeva can negatively affect your immune system, rendering you more susceptible to serious infections. Contact your doctor if you experience signs of infection, such as fever, severe abdominal pain, frequent or painful urination, or red, swollen, or tender skin.

Anyone who experiences these symptoms should seek immediate medical help:

  • Mood changes (irritability or confusion)
  • Numbness or tingling, especially in the mouth or in fingers or toes
  • Seizures
  • Fainting or severe dizziness
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat

Drug Interactions with Xgeva

While these medications are well-documented to have the most significant interactions with Xgeva, there are others; always discuss what you’re taking with your doctor before you start any medication regimen.

Some medications you may already be taking could interact with Xgeva. Some of the notable interactions include:

  • Prednisone
  • Ibrance (palbociclib)
  • Dexamethasone
  • Cladribine
  • Deucravacitinib
  • Fexinidazole
  • Ritlecitinib

Strengths and Dosages of Xgeva

Xgeva is given as a subcutaneous injection. The typical dosage is 120 milligrams per 1.7 milliliters of solution. This dose is given every four weeks, with the potential for additional doses as needed. Your doctor may adjust your dose based on your diagnosis and current health circumstances.

FAQs of Xgeva

How long do Xgeva side effects last?

Xgeva side effects are usually temporary, only lasting a few days or weeks. Any side effects that last longer than that could indicate a more significant problem you should discuss with your doctor.

How much calcium do you take with Xgeva?

Xgeva’s website recommends taking at least 500 mg of calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D supplements daily.

How long does it take for Xgeva to work?

Xgeva’s concentrations level out in the body within three to six months, but the medication usually starts working within the first few weeks of treatment.

What is Xgeva used for?

Xgeva is used to treat cancer that spreads to bones from a tumor by preventing hypercalcemia or high calcium levels in your blood. It’s also commonly prescribed to individuals with multiple myeloma to help prevent bone fractures.

How long does Xgeva stay in your system?

Xgeva stays in the body for roughly 140 days.

What is the cost of Xgeva in America?

The list price of Xgeva is $3194.43 per dose. Most patients won’t have to pay the list price, and many plans cover at least a partial cost of many medications like Xgeva, including Medicare.

Are there alternatives for Xgeva?

Zometa is an Xgeva alternative with a lower-cost generic alternative. Like Xgeva, Zometa is administered as an injection by a healthcare professional.

Are there generic options for Xgeva?

Zometa has a generic alternative, though Xgeva does not. However, the base medication, Denosumab, can cost significantly less, saving many patients over half every month.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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