Denosumab for the prevention of osteoporotic fractures in postmenopausal women

NICE technology appraisals [TA204] Published date:

NICE recommends denosumab as a possible treatment for preventing bone fractures in some postmenopausal women with osteoporosis (see below).

Who can have denosumab?

If you have not had a bone fracture caused by osteoporosis, you should be able to have denosumab if:

  • your doctor thinks you are at risk of having a fracture (see below) and
  • you can’t take alendronate and either risedronate or etidronate.

If you have already had a fracture, you should be able to have denosumab if you can’t take alendronate and either risedronate or etidronate.

You can ask your doctor to explain if denosumab is appropriate for you.

Who is at risk?

To see if you are at risk of fracture, your doctor takes into account your age, your bone density, whether your parents had hip fractures, whether you have rheumatoid arthritis and how much alcohol you drink a day. You might need to have a bone scan (known as DXA) to measure your bone density.  

Why has NICE said this?

NICE looks at how well treatments work, and also at how well they work in relation to how much they cost the NHS. NICE recommended denosumab for certain postmenopausal women who can’t take alendronate and either risedronate or etidronate because it works as well as and costs about the same as other treatments available on the NHS.

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