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Generic name: teriparatide [ ter-i-PAR-a-tide ]
Brand name: Forteo
Dosage form: subcutaneous solution (620 mcg/2.48 mL)
Drug class: Parathyroid hormone and analogs

Medically reviewed by on Mar 7, 2023. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is teriparatide?

Teriparatide is used to treat osteoporosis caused by menopause, steroid use, or gonadal failure. teriparatide is for use when you have a high risk of bone fracture due to osteoporosis.

Teriparatide may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Teriparatide side effects

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

Teriparatide may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

Common side effects of teriparatide may include:

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.


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

Before taking this medicine

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

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

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

How should I use teriparatide?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Teriparatide is injected under the skin. A healthcare provider may teach you how to properly use the medication by yourself.

Teriparatide is usually given once per day at the same time each day.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you don't understand all instructions.

Prepare an injection only when you are ready to give it. Do not use if the medicine looks cloudy, has changed colors, or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.

Your healthcare provider will show you where on your body to inject teriparatide. 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 teriparatide. Do not transfer the medicine to a syringe or other injection device or you could get an overdose.

Teriparatide 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 teriparatide for 28 separate injections. Throw the pen away after 28 injections, even if there is still medicine left inside.

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

Store the injection pen in a 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.

Use a needle and syringe only once and then place them in a puncture-proof "sharps" container. Follow state or local laws about how to dispose of this container. Keep it out of the reach of children and pets.

Do not freeze teriparatide, and throw away the medicine if it has become frozen.

Your doctor will determine how long to treat you with teriparatide. Teriparatide is sometimes given for only 2 years.

Teriparatide dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Osteoporosis:

20 mcg subcutaneously once a day into the thigh or abdominal wall
-Duration of Therapy: Lifetime use greater than 2 years should only be considered if fracture risk remains high

-This drug is indicated for men and women as described below who are at high risk for fracture or who have failed or are intolerant to other available osteoporosis therapy.
-High fracture is defined as history of osteoporotic fracture or multiple risk factors for fracture.
-Supplemental calcium and vitamin D should be taken if daily dietary intake is inadequate.

-For the treatment of postmenopausal women with osteoporosis
-To increase bone mass in men with primary or hypogonadal osteoporosis
-For the treatment of men and women with osteoporosis associated with sustained systemic glucocorticoid (equivalent to prednisone 5 mg/day or greater)

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 teriparatide?

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how teriparatide will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.

Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy.

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 teriparatide?

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect teriparatide, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Popular FAQ

Teriparatide (Forteo), is a synthetic form of parathyroid hormone - a hormone produced naturally by the body which helps maintain blood levels of calcium within a very tight range; which in turn controls calcium levels within bone - determining how strong and dense the bones are. Continue reading

More FAQ

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.