Forteo for Osteoporosis

Medically Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on June 30, 2023
2 min read

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.

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, and evidence also exists that it reduces hip fractures.

Forteo is indicated for treatment of:

  • Postmenopausal women with osteoporosis at high risk for fracture
  • Men and women with glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis at high risk for fracture
  • Men with primary or hypogonadal osteoporosis at high risk for fracture

High risk for fracture, is defined as a history of osteoporotic fracture, multiple risk factors for fracture, or patients who have failed or are intolerant to other available osteoporosis therapy

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

Forteo's side effects may include:

Other side effects are also possible. Tell your doctor if you think Forteo is having a bad effect on your well-being.