Romosozumab

(Brand name: Evenity®)

Romosozumab is a new drug treatment for some women with osteoporosis. It may be suitable if you’ve already broken a bone due to osteoporosis and are at high risk of breaking another.

Romosozumab works by speeding up the cells that build bone (osteoblasts), and slowing down the cells that break down bone (osteoclasts). This helps to prevent bone loss. It can help strengthen your bones and reduce your risk of breaking more bones.

Download our fact sheet

Who can have romosozumab?

Romosozumab may be suitable if you are a woman and you:

  • have been through the menopause, and
  • have broken a bone due to osteoporosis in the last two years, and
  • have a high risk of breaking another bone.

It is only licensed for use in women in the UK. This means that if you're a man with osteoporosis, you're very unlikely to be offered romosozumab.

Romosozumab can be used as a first drug treatment for osteoporosis. It can also be used if you’ve already tried other drug treatments and are still breaking bones.

 

Where is romosozumab available?

Romosozumab is a new treatment, so it isn’t yet available everywhere.

In Scotland, it is available on the NHS for people who have already broken a bone due to osteoporosis and are at high risk of breaking another.

In England and Wales, romosozumab was recently (May 2022) approved for use on the NHS. This means it will soon be available for women who have been through the menopause and have broken a bone in the last two years.

In Northern Ireland, you should be able to have romosozumab if your doctor thinks it is suitable.

 

When is romosozumab not suitable?

You won't be able to have romosozumab if you have:

  • a history of heart attack or stroke
  • a low blood calcium level (hypocalcaemia) – you’ll need to increase your intake of calcium and vitamin D before you can start romosozumab.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding

Speak to your doctor if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Romosozumab is usually only given to women after the menopause, but it is sometimes offered to younger women. However, we don’t yet know whether it might affect a child in the womb or while being breast-fed.

 

What does treatment involve?

Romosozumab involves having two injections a month – both on the same day – for 12 months.  You, or a family member or carer, will do the injections yourself. You’ll be shown how to do this. You’ll also get instructions on how to store your medication.

It’s important to have enough calcium and vitamin D while you’re on romosozumab. Your doctor may prescribe calcium and vitamin D supplements before and during your treatment, to make sure you are getting enough.

 

How long will my treatment last?

You’ll be on romosozumab for one year. It will help to reduce your risk of broken bones during this time.

 

What will happen when I stop having romosozumab?

When you finish your course of romosozumab, your doctor will talk to you about starting a different treatment for osteoporosis, such as a bisphosphonate. The benefits of romosozumab start to wear off when you stop taking it. So if you don’t start another treatment, your bones will become weaker and you’ll become more likely to break another bone.

We don’t yet know how quickly the risk of breaking bones increases when you stop taking romosozumab. It’s important to discuss this with your healthcare professional before starting treatment – particularly if you already know a bisphosphonate drug treatment won’t be suitable for you afterwards.

 

If you're prescribed romosozumab

Get all the information you need

Find out about your treatment options so that you can be fully involved in decisions and know what to expect. Talk to your doctor about your medication, its side effects and any risks. You can read more about these below.

It’s important to read the information in the patient information leaflet that comes with your treatment. You can also read more detailed information in our fact sheet.

Our specialist nurse Helpline is here for you, if you have any questions or concerns. Call free on 0808 800 0035.

 

Discuss what will happen when you stop romosozumab

It's important to discuss your future treatment plan before starting romosozumab. When you finish your one-year course of romosozumab, the benefits will start to wear off unless you start another treatment straight away. Your doctor will want to make sure you understand this before they prescribe romosozumab.

 

Know how to lower your risk of side effects and other problems

Like all treatments, romosozumab can cause side effects, but these aren’t very common. They can include:

  • joint pain
  • headache
  • cold-like symptoms.

If you do get side effects, they shouldn't last for long. The best thing to do is speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

Other possible health risks

Romosozumab can, very rarely, cause some more serious health problems.

 

Content reviewed: March 2021

(updated May 2022)

 

Speak to a specialist nurse

Contact our free Helpline for more information about osteoporosis and bone health.

0808 800 0035

We are the UK’s only national charity dedicated to bone health and osteoporosis.

How you can help