Drugs to Treat Bone Metastases

Some men diagnosed with prostate cancer will have their cancer spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. The bones are a common place for cancer to spread.

Two classes of drugs used to treat cancer that has spread to the bone are:
  1. Bisphosphonates: prevent loss of bone mass
  2. Denosumab: block osteoclasts (bone cells) from breaking down bone

Everyone responds to therapies for treating bone metastases differently. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about what to expect, including any side-effects you may experience while on these medications. Some therapies used to treat prostate cancer may interact with other prescription or non-prescription medications you are taking. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any medications.

Below are common drugs used to treat bone metastases. Click on each drug name for further information including:
  • what the drug is and how it works
  • how the drug is administered
  • possible side effects of the drug
  • whether the drug is covered by your provincial drug program

Alendronate (Fosamax®)

Denosumab (Xgeva®)

Pamidronate (Aredia®)

Zoledronic Acid (Zometa®) 

Last Reviewed: July 2017

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