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Forteo for Osteoporosis

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Teriparatide (Forteo) is a synthetic version of the human parathyroid hormone, which helps to regulate calcium metabolism. It promotes the growth of new bone, while other osteoporosis medications improve bone density by inhibiting bone resorption, or breakdown.  It is the only osteoporosis medicine approved by the FDA that rebuilds bone.

Forteo should be used only in men with osteoporosis and postmenopausal women.

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How is Forteo Taken?

 Teriparatide (Forteo) is self-injected into the skin. Because long-term safety is not yet established, it is only FDA-approved for 24 months of use. It reduces spine fractures in women with known osteoporosis, but reduction of hip fracture risk is currently unproven. 

Who Should Take Forteo?

Men who have osteoporosis and postmenopausal women can take Forteo.

Forteo is not used to prevent osteoporosis or to treat mild osteoporosis.

This drug should be used if you've had at least one bone fracture due to thinning bones, you are at high risk of fractures, or you haven't responded to other osteoporosis therapies.

 

What Are the Side Effects of Forteo?

Forteo's side effects may include:

  • Itching, swelling, redness at injection site
  • Back spasms
  • Depression
  • Leg cramps
  • Heartburn

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on October 17, 2014
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