Compare Boniva vs. Prolia

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Boniva
(Ibandronate)

Prolia
(Denosumab)

Prevents bone loss. Boniva is a first-choice treatment for osteoporosis and is available as a generic, but how you have to take it can be a hassle. It's also only approved for women, not men.Prevents bone loss. Prolia (Denosumab) is an effective and convenient treatment for osteoporosis if other options haven’t worked or aren’t appropriate for you. There’re risks of some rare side effects, so make sure you're following up with your doctor regularly.
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Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
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3.81Boniva
Reviews for Boniva (Ibandronate)
31%
of people (All ages) say Boniva (Ibandronate) is worth it
20%
say it works well
27%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Boniva (Ibandronate)?
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Have you used Prolia (Denosumab)?
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Side effects
BonivaProlia
  • Any serious side effect 3%
More Boniva side effects »
  • Hypercholesterolemia 1%
  • Ankle and leg swelling 1%
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection 1%
  • Sciatica 1%
  • Bone pain 1%
  • Passing gas 1%
  • Muscle pain 1%
  • Heart-related chest pain 1%
  • Rash 1%
  • Pain in extremity 1%
More Prolia side effects »
How it works
BonivaProlia
Boniva (Ibandronate) is a bisphosphonate. It slows down osteoclasts, the cells that break down bone. This results in greater bone mass and lowers the possibility of fractures.Prolia (Denosumab) is a monoclonal antibody. It blocks a protein that sends signals to break down your bones, and therefore prevents bone loss.
Type of medication
BonivaProlia
BisphosphonatePrescription only
Monoclonal antibodyPrescription only
Available as
BonivaProlia
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Injection
Used for (click to learn more)
BonivaProlia
Risk factors for serious side effects
BonivaProlia
  • Oral or dental surgery
  • Cancer
  • Poor oral hygiene
Detailed risks & warnings »
  • Taking steroids
  • Kidney problems
  • Not taking calcium supplements
  • Taking other medicines that can lower calcium blood levels
  • History of hypoparathyroidism (low levels of parathyroid hormone)
Detailed risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with real people or animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. If you’re pregnant, the risks to your unborn baby outweigh the benefits.

Pain
BonivaProlia
  • If you have pain with swallowing, around your chest or stomach, or new or worsening heartburn, talk to your doctor.
  • Can cause skin irritation, joint pain, limb pain, and back pain.
Weight
BonivaProlia
  • Consider adding weight-bearing exercises as part of your exercise routine.
No weight related info.
Upsides and benefits
BonivaProlia
  • Available in generic.
  • Available in oral tablets that can be given once a month or once a day.
  • Also available as shot given into your vein every 3 months.
  • Prolia (Denosumab) is effective at preventing bone loss, making your bones stronger and lowering your chance of getting a fracture.
  • Only need to get an injection every 6 months, so you don’t have to remember to take something every day.
Downsides and risks
BonivaProlia
  • You have to take it first thing in the morning with a full glass of water.
  • You have to remain upright for at least 60 minutes after you take the medication, which can be a problem if you have mobility issues.
  • Only approved to treat and prevent osteoporosis in women who have gone through menopause.
  • Approved for women only after they’ve reached menopause. Don’t use this if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
  • Can lower blood calcium levels. You might need to take calcium supplements to prevent this.
  • Not available as a generic.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
BonivaProlia
  • Can be taken as a tablet or as an intravenous infusion.
  • Take the tablet first thing when you wake up by swallowing the whole pill with a full glass of plain water.
  • Don't eat or drink anything for 60 minutes after you've taken the tablet.
  • Stay sitting or standing, and Don't take any other medications, vitamins or supplements for at least 60 minutes after you take the tablet until you've had your first food of the day.
  • If you have pain with swallowing, around your chest or stomach, or new or worsening heartburn, talk to your doctor.
  • Take the 150 mg tablet on the same day every month.
  • If you forget to take the 150mg tablet on your chosen day each month, take it on the next day in the morning.
  • Call your doctor if you develop pain in your jaw, hips or thighs.
  • Keep taking your calcium and vitamin D.
  • Some of these medications are only taken once a month, others once a day. Talk to your pharmacist if you're not sure.
  • Consider adding weight-bearing exercises as part of your exercise routine.
  • Remember to get your shot every 6 months. Write it down on your calendar.
  • If your doctor also told you to take calcium and vitamin D, remember to take them as well. They'll work with Prolia (Denosumab) to help protect your bones.
  • Can cause skin irritation, joint pain, limb pain, and back pain.
  • Let your doctor know if you start getting more infections.
  • Let your dentist know that you’re taking Prolia (Denosumab) since it can cause problems in the jaw bone after dental procedures.
Learn more
More about BonivaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Boniva (Ibandronate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ProliaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Prolia (Denosumab)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it