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Biol Pharm Bull. 2013;36(10):1622-6. Epub 2013 Aug 9.

Identification of the risk factors associated with hypocalcemia induced by denosumab.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacy, Tokushima University Hospital.


Denosumab, a fully human monoclonal antibody that inhibits the receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand, inhibits the activation of osteoclasts. Some clinical trials have shown that denosumab suppresses bone resorption in patients with advanced cancer, but hypocalcemia has been reported as a serious adverse effect after the administration of denosumab. It is difficult to predict hypocalcemia in such cases because the risk factors for denosumab-induced hypocalcemia have not been reported. Accordingly, the aim of the present study was to identify the risk factors for hypocalcemia induced by denosumab. We retrospectively reviewed the records of patients who had received denosumab at Tokushima University Hospital between April 2012 and May 2013. Fifty-three patients were analyzed and eleven patients had hypocalcemia after administration of denosumab. Univariate logistic regression analysis revealed that the patients who had not been administered zoledronic acid before receiving denosumab or had lower creatinine clearance (CCr) appeared to have a higher risk of hypocalcemia (p<0.05). The cut off value of CCr was 50.4 mL/min calculated by receiver-operator characteristics curves. Moreover, multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that non-administration of zoledronic acid (odds ratio 10.43, p<0.05) and CCr less than 50.0 mL/min (odds ratio 5.90, p<0.05) were independent risk factors for denosumab-induced hypocalcemia. These findings provide useful information regarding the monitoring of hypocalcemia in patients receiving denosumab.

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