April 30, 2016
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Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.


Drug Products With Same Active Ingredient

Xgeva includes the same active ingredient (denosumab) found in Prolia. Patients receiving Xgeva should not take Prolia.


Clinically significant hypersensitivity including anaphylaxis has been reported with use of Xgeva. Reactions may include hypotension, dyspnea, upper airway edema, lip swelling, rash, pruritus, and urticaria. If an anaphylactic or other clinically significant allergic reaction occurs, initiate appropriate therapy and discontinue Xgeva therapy permanently [see CONTRAINDICATIONS and ADVERSE REACTIONS].


Xgeva can cause severe symptomatic hypocalcemia, and fatal cases have been reported. Correct pre-existing hypocalcemia prior to Xgeva treatment. Monitor calcium levels, throughout Xgeva therapy, especially in the first weeks of initiating therapy, and administer calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D as necessary. Monitor levels more frequently when Xgeva is administered with other drugs that can also lower calcium levels. Advise patients to contact a healthcare professional for symptoms of hypocalcemia [see CONTRAINDICATIONS, ADVERSE REACTIONS, and PATIENT INFORMATION].

An increased risk of hypocalcemia has been observed in clinical trials of patients with increasing renal dysfunction, most commonly with severe dysfunction (creatinine clearance less than 30 mL/minute and/or on dialysis), and with inadequate/no calcium supplementation. Monitor calcium levels and calcium and vitamin D intake [see ADVERSE REACTIONS, Use in Specific Populations, and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Osteonecrosis Of The Jaw (ONJ)

Osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) has been reported in patients receiving Xgeva, manifesting as jaw pain, osteomyelitis, osteitis, bone erosion, tooth or periodontal infection, toothache, gingival ulceration, or gingival erosion. Persistent pain or slow healing of the mouth or jaw after dental surgery may also be manifestations of ONJ. In clinical trials in patients with osseous metastasis, the incidence of ONJ was higher with longer duration of exposure [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. Seventy-nine percent of patients with ONJ had a history of tooth extraction, poor oral hygiene, or use of a dental appliance as a predisposing factor. Other risk factors for the development of ONJ include immunosuppressive therapy, treatment with angiogenesis inhibitors, systemic corticosteroids, diabetes, and gingival infections.

Perform an oral examination and appropriate preventive dentistry prior to the initiation of Xgeva and periodically during Xgeva therapy. Advise patients regarding oral hygiene practices. Avoid invasive dental procedures during treatment with Xgeva. Consider temporary discontinuation of Xgeva therapy if an invasive dental procedure must be performed. There are no data available to suggest the optimal duration of treatment interruption.

Patients who are suspected of having or who develop ONJ while on Xgeva should receive care by a dentist or an oral surgeon. In these patients, extensive dental surgery to treat ONJ may exacerbate the condition. Clinical judgment of the treating physician should guide the management plan of each patient based on individual risk/benefit assessment.

Atypical Subtrochanteric And Diaphyseal Femoral Fracture

Atypical femoral fracture has been reported with Xgeva [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. These fractures can occur anywhere in the femoral shaft from just below the lesser trochanter to above the supracondylar flare and are transverse or short oblique in orientation without evidence of comminution.

Atypical femoral fractures most commonly occur with minimal or no trauma to the affected area. They may be bilateral and many patients report prodromal pain in the affected area, usually presenting as dull,aching thigh pain, weeks to months before a complete fracture occurs. A number of reports note that patients were also receiving treatment with glucocorticoids (e.g. prednisone) at the time of fracture. During Xgeva treatment, patients should be advised to report new or unusual thigh, hip, or groin pain. Any patient who presents with thigh or groin pain should be suspected of having an atypical fracture and should be evaluated to rule out an incomplete femur fracture. Patient presenting with an atypical femur fracture should also be assessed for symptoms and signs of fracture in the contralateral limb. Interruption of Xgeva therapy should be considered, pending a risk/benefit assessment, on an individual basis.

Embryo-Fetal Toxicity

Xgeva can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Based on findings in animals, Xgeva is expected to result in adverse reproductive effects. In utero denosumab exposure in cynomolgus monkeys resulted in increased fetal loss, stillbirths, and postnatal mortality, along with evidence of absent peripheral lymph nodes, abnormal bone growth and decreased neonatal growth [see Use in Specific Populations].

Advise females of reproductive potential to use highly effective contraception during therapy, and for at least 5 months after the last dose of Xgeva. Apprise the patient of the potential hazard to a fetus if Xgeva is used during pregnancy or if the patient becomes pregnant while patients are exposed to Xgeva. Advise patients to contact their healthcare provider if they become pregnant or a pregnancy is suspected during this time [see Use in Specific Populations].

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility

The carcinogenic potential of denosumab has not been evaluated in long-term animal studies. The genotoxic potential of denosumab has not been evaluated.

Denosumab had no effect on female fertility or male reproductive organs in monkeys at doses that were 6.5- to 25-fold higher than the recommended human dose of 120 mg subcutaneously administered once every 4 weeks, based on body weight (mg/kg).

Use In Specific Populations


Pregnancy Category D [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Risk Summary

Xgeva can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman based on findings in animals. In utero denosumab exposure in cynomolgus monkeys resulted in increased fetal loss, stillbirths, and postnatal mortality, along with evidence of absent lymph nodes, abnormal bone growth, and decreased neonatal growth.

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies with Xgeva in pregnant women. Women should be advised not to become pregnant when taking Xgeva. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus.

Women who become pregnant during Xgeva treatment are encouraged to enroll in Amgen's Pregnancy Surveillance Program. Patients or their physicians should call 1-800-77-AMGEN (1-800-772-6436) to enroll.

Clinical Considerations

The effects of Xgeva are likely to be greater during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Monoclonal antibodies are transported across the placenta in a linear fashion as pregnancy progresses, with the largest amount transferred during the third trimester.

If the patient becomes pregnant during Xgeva therapy, consider the risks and benefits in continuing or discontinuing treatment with Xgeva.

Animal Data

The effects of denosumab on prenatal development have been studied in both cynomolgus monkeys and genetically engineered mice in which RANK ligand (RANKL) expression was turned off by gene removal (a “knockout mouse”). In cynomolgus monkeys dosed subcutaneously with denosumab throughout pregnancy at a pharmacologically active dose, there was increased fetal loss during gestation, stillbirths, and postnatal mortality. Other findings in offspring included absence of axillary, inguinal, mandibular, and mesenteric lymph nodes; abnormal bone growth, reduced bone strength, reduced hematopoiesis, dental dysplasia, and tooth malalignment; and decreased neonatal growth. At birth out to one month of age, infants had measurable blood levels of denosumab (22-621% of maternal levels).

Following a recovery period from birth out to 6 months of age, the effects on bone quality and strength returned to normal; there were no adverse effects on tooth eruption, though dental dysplasia was still apparent; axillary and inguinal lymph nodes remained absent, while mandibular and mesenteric lymph nodes were present, though small; and minimal to moderate mineralization in multiple tissues was seen in one recovery animal. There was no evidence of maternal harm prior to labor; adverse maternal effects occurred infrequently during labor. Maternal mammary gland development was normal. There was no fetal NOAEL (no observable adverse effect level) established for this study because only one dose of 50 mg/kg was evaluated.

In RANKL knockout mice, absence of RANKL (the target of denosumab) also caused fetal lymph node agenesis and led to postnatal impairment of dentition and bone growth. Pregnant RANKL knockout mice showed altered maturation of the maternal mammary gland, leading to impaired lactation [see Use In Specific Populations and Nonclinical Toxicology].

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether Xgeva is excreted into human milk. Measurable concentrations of denosumab were present in the maternal milk of cynomolgus monkeys up to 1 month after the last dose of denosumab ( ≤ 0.5% milk:serum ratio). Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from Xgeva, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Maternal exposure to Xgeva during pregnancy may impair mammary gland development and lactation based on animal studies in pregnant mice lacking the RANK/RANKL signaling pathway that have shown altered maturation of the maternal mammary gland, leading to impaired lactation postpartum. However, in cynomolgus monkeys treated with denosumab throughout pregnancy, maternal mammary gland development was normal, with no impaired lactation. Mammary gland histopathology at 6 months of age was normal in female offspring exposed to denosumab in utero; however, development and lactation have not been fully evaluated [see Nonclinical Toxicology].

Pediatric Use

The safety and efficacy of Xgeva have not been established in pediatric patients except in skeletally mature adolescents with giant cell tumor of bone. Xgeva is recommended only for treatment of skeletally mature adolescents with giant cell tumor of bone [see INDICATIONS AND USAGE].

Xgeva was studied in an open-label trial that enrolled a subset of 10 adolescent patients (aged 13-17 years) with giant cell tumor of bone who had reached skeletal maturity, defined by at least 1 mature long bone (e.g., closed epiphyseal growth plate of the humerus), and had a body weight ≥ 45 kg [see INDICATIONS AND USAGE and Clinical Trials]. A total of two of six (33%) evaluable adolescent patients had an objective response by retrospective independent assessment of radiographic response according to modified Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST 1.1) criteria. The adverse reaction profile and efficacy results appeared to be similar in skeletally mature adolescents and adults [see ADVERSE REACTIONS and Clinical Trials].

Treatment with Xgeva may impair bone growth in children with open growth plates and may inhibit eruption of dentition. In neonatal rats, inhibition of RANKL (the target of Xgeva therapy) with a construct of osteoprotegerin bound to Fc (OPG-Fc) at doses ≤ 10 mg/kg was associated with inhibition of bone growth and tooth eruption. Adolescent primates treated with denosumab at doses 5 and 25 times (10 and 50 mg/kg dose) higher than the recommended human dose of 120 mg administered once every 4 weeks, based on body weight (mg/kg), had abnormal growth plates, considered to be consistent with the pharmacological activity of denosumab.

Cynomolgus monkeys exposed in utero to denosumab exhibited bone abnormalities, reduced hematopoiesis, tooth malalignment, decreased neonatal growth, and an absence of axillary, inguinal, mandibular, and mesenteric lymph nodes. Some bone abnormalities recovered once exposure was ceased following birth; however, axillary and inguinal lymph nodes remained absent 6 months post-birth [see Use in Specific Populations].

Geriatric Use

Of patients who received Xgeva in Trials 1, 2, and 3, 1260 (44%) were 65 years of age or older. No overall differences in safety or efficacy were observed between these patients and younger patients.

Renal Impairment

Two clinical trials were conducted in patients without cancer and with varying degrees of renal function. In one study, patients (N=55) with varying degrees of renal function (ranging from normal through endstage renal disease requiring dialysis) received a single 60 mg subcutaneous dose of denosumab. In a second study, patients (N=32) with severe renal dysfunction (creatinine clearance less than 30 mL/minute and/or on dialysis) were given two 120 mg subcutaneous doses of denosumab. In both studies, greater risk of developing hypocalcemia was observed with increasing renal impairment, and with inadequate/no calcium supplementation. Hypocalcemia was mild to moderate in severity in 96% of patients. Monitor calcium levels and calcium and vitamin D intake [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, ADVERSE REACTIONS, and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Females And Males Of Reproductive Potential



Counsel patients on pregnancy planning and prevention. Advise females of reproductive potential to use highly effective contraception during therapy, and for at least 5 months after the last dose of Xgeva. Advise patients to contact their healthcare provider if they become pregnant, or a pregnancy is suspected, during treatment or within 5 months after the last dose of Xgeva [see Use in Specific Populations and PATIENT INFORMATION].


The extent to which denosumab is present in seminal fluid is unknown. There is potential for fetal exposure to denosumab when a male treated with Xgeva has unprotected sexual intercourse with a pregnant partner. Advise males of this potential risk.

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/9/2016


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