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Forteo

Generic Name: teriparatide (ter i PAR a tide)
Brand Names: Forteo

What is Forteo?

Forteo (teriparatide) is a man-made form of parathyroid hormone that exists naturally in the body. Teriparatide increases bone mineral density and bone strength, which may prevent fractures.

Forteo is used in men and women to treat osteoporosis caused by menopause or by taking steroids.

Forteo is also used to increase bone mass in men who have osteoporosis and a high risk of fracture.

Important information

Forteo has caused bone cancer (osteosarcoma) in animals but it is not known whether this would occur in people using this medicine. Talk with your doctor about your own risk.

Tell your doctor if you have conditions such as Paget's disease, high blood levels of calcium or alkaline phosphatase, or a history of bone cancer or radiation treatment involving your bones.

Avoid smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol. Smoking or heavy drinking can reduce your bone mineral density, making fractures more likely.

Forteo side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Forteo: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out (may occur within 4 hours after injection);

  • pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest after using an injection; or

  • high levels of calcium in your blood - nausea, vomiting, constipation, muscle weakness, lack of energy, or tired feeling.

Common Forteo side effects may include:

  • nausea;

  • joint pain; or

  • pain anywhere in your body.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Side Effects (complete list)

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Forteo if you are allergic to teriparatide.

Forteo is not for use in children or young adults whose bones are still growing.

To make sure Forteo is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • Paget's disease or a bone disease other than osteoporosis;

  • high blood levels of calcium or alkaline phosphatase;

  • overactive parathyroid glands;

  • bone cancer or radiation treatment involving your bones; or

  • a kidney stone.

Forteo has caused bone cancer (osteosarcoma) in animals but it is not known whether this would occur in people using this medicine. Talk with your doctor about your own risk.

While using Forteo, you may be asked to provide your name to a patient registry. This is to collect information about any possible risk of bone cancer in people who take this medicine.

It is not known whether teriparatide will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It is not known whether teriparatide passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

How should I use Forteo?

Use Forteo exactly as it was prescribed for you. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Forteo is injected under the skin. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not give yourself this medicine if you do not understand how to use the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.

Forteo is usually given once per day. Use the medicine at the same time each day.

Your care provider will show you the best places on your body to inject this medicine. Use a different place each time you give an injection. Do not inject into the same place two times in a row.

Use only the injection pen provided with Forteo. Do not transfer the medicine to a syringe or other injection device or you could get an overdose.

Forteo can cause you to feel dizzy or light-headed. Always give your injection at a time and place where you can sit or lie down for a short time afterward.

Each prefilled injection pen contains enough medicine for 28 separate injections. Throw the pen away after 28 injections, even if there is still medicine left inside.

Forteo should be clear and colorless. Do not use the medicine if it has changed colors, looks cloudy, or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.

Use a disposable needle only once. Follow any state or local laws about throwing away used needles. Use a puncture-proof "sharps" disposal container (ask your pharmacist where to get one and how to throw it away). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.

Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Forteo may be only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet changes, exercise, taking vitamin or mineral supplements, and changing certain behaviors. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely.

Store your injection pen in the refrigerator when not in use. Take the pen out of the refrigerator only long enough to use it. After use, remove the needle, recap the pen, and return it to the refrigerator.

Do not freeze. Throw away the medicine if it has become frozen.

Your doctor will determine how long to treat you with this medicine. Forteo is often given for only 2 years.

Forteo dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Osteoporosis:

20 mcg subcutaneously once a day into the thigh or abdominal wall

Uses:
-Treatment of postmenopausal women with osteoporosis at high risk for fracture
-Increase of bone mass in men with primary or hypogonadal osteoporosis at high risk for fracture
-Treatment of men and women with osteoporosis associated with sustained systemic glucocorticoid therapy at high risk for fracture

Dosage Information (comprehensive)

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose on the same day you remember it. Use your next dose at the regular time and stay on your once-daily schedule. Do not use 2 doses in one day.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, feeling light-headed, or fainting.

What should I avoid while using Forteo?

Forteo can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Avoid smoking, or try to quit. Smoking can reduce your bone mineral density, making fractures more likely.

Avoid drinking large amounts of alcohol. Heavy drinking can also cause bone loss.

What other drugs will affect Forteo?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • digoxin, digitalis.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with teriparatide, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Forteo.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Forteo only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2017 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.01.

Date modified: November 12, 2017
Last reviewed: October 16, 2017

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