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Romosozumab

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Romosozumab is an osteoporosis drug treatment prescribed to help strengthen your bones and reduce your risk of breaking a bone. It's prescribed for 12 months as two injections per month, which you do yourself.  

The treatment works by stimulating the cells that build bone (osteoblasts), and slowing down the cells that break down bone (osteoclasts). This helps to prevent bone loss. Romosozumab is a new drug that has been licensed for use in the UK.

It is now available for prescription through the NHS in Scotland for people who have broken bones due to osteoporosis and are at high risk of further fractures. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) will publish guidance on who should be prescribed Romosozumab through the NHS in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2021.

Who is prescribed Romosozumab

  • Women who have been through the menopause
  • Who have already broken a bone (fragility fracture) and have a high risk of breaking another
  • You may have had several fragility fractures, usually in the spine, and are at risk of further broken bones
  • You may have already tried other drug treatments and continued to break bones.

Getting the most out of your treatment

Be informed
Find out about your drug treatment so that you can be involved in decisions being made and you will know what to expect. Talk to your doctor about your medication, its side-effects and any risks. You can read the information on this page, in your patient information leaflet and in our fact sheet, so you know what to expect. Our specialist nurse Helpline is here for you, if you have any questions or concerns. Call free on 0808 800 0035

Make sure romosozumab is the treatment for you
There are some conditions or situations which mean romosozumab is not suitable for you. Have a chat with your doctor if romosozumab is being considered for you and any of the below apply:

  • A history of heart attack or stroke
  • A low blood calcium level (hypocalcaemia). This must be corrected by an adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D before starting on romosozumab as very rarely romosozumab treatment can cause blood calcium levels to drop significantly
  • If you are pregnant or breast feeding (although only licensed for women after the menopause, occasionally it may be prescribed by specialists for younger women)
  • If no other medicine is suitable - you need a follow-on treatment after romosozumab to keep the benefits for your bones

Make sure you take and store your medication safely
Following the instructions for storing and giving yourself the injections will ensure that it will have the most benefit for your bones. You or a family member or a carer will give the injection and you will be provided with instructions and shown how to do this.

Continue to take romosozumab correctly
Romosozumab is prescribed for a one 1 year period. It will reduce the risk of broken bones during this time. It must be followed by an alternative treatment for osteoporosis such as a bisphosphonate for this protection to be sustained,. This is because the benefits wear off very quickly.

Make sure you have enough calcium and vitamin D
It is important that you have adequate calcium and vitamin D whilst taking romosozumab. You may be prescribed calcium and vitamin D supplements to help prevent low calcium levels in your blood before you start your treatment and while you take romosozumab.

Understand and reduce the risk of side effects and health risks

  • Side effects
  • Joint pain
  • Headache
  • Cold - like symptoms

It’s unlikely you’ll experience any side effects when taking romosozumab. But if you do, they shouldn't last for long. The best thing to do is speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

Other health risks
There are some more serious but very rare health conditions associated with romosozumab:
• Osteonecrosis of the jaw - when the mouth fails to heal, usually following invasive dental procedures like a tooth extraction

Find out more:
Osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ)
Dental treatments before you start romosozumab
Atypical fractures

Get support from a Specialist Nurse

Contact our free Helpline for tailored information about osteoporosis and bone health:

0808 800 0035

Or online, through live chat

About the Helpline

Benefiting from romosozumab

Taking the time to read the instructions carefully and adjust your routine and lifestyle can help your bones get maximum benefit - and minimise unwanted side effects.

Here's some helpful pointers, to help you succeed.

More osteoporosis treatments

Decisions about treatment

Osteoporosis treatments are usually prescribed if your risk of breaking a bone is significantly higher than normal.

With a wide range of osteoporosis medications available, it's understandable to wonder which one is best for you. The decision about which treatment is right for you, and how long you need to take it, depends on your personal circumstances. 

Short-term treatment may be all you need. If your risk of breaking a bone is high, it's likely you need to take a treatment for a longer period of time.