Skip to Content

Abaloparatide: 6 things you should know

Written by C. Fookes, BPharm on Oct 3, 2018

1. How it works

  • Abaloparatide is a man-made version of a protein related to human parathyroid hormone (also called parathyrin). Parathyrin is important in bone remodeling where bone tissue is resorbed and rebuilt over time. Abaloparatide acts on specific receptors that stimulate osteoblasts (cells which lay down new bone), increasing bone mass (bone mineral density).
  • Abaloparatide belongs to the class of drugs known as parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) analogs.

2. Upsides

  • May be considered for the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women who have tried and not responded to, or been intolerant of, other medications for osteoporosis.
  • Significantly reduces the risk of vertebral and nonvertebral fractures.
  • No dosage adjustment is required in kidney disease. The manufacturer does not state if a dosage adjustment is needed in liver disease.
  • There are no significant drug interactions reported with abaloparatide.
  • Administered by self-injection just under the skin, once a day.
  • Available as single-use prefilled pens.

3. Downsides

If you are between the ages of 18 and 60, take no other medication or have no other medical conditions, side effects you are more likely to experience include:

  • High calcium levels in urine (may exacerbate active or recent urolithiasis), increased uric acid levels, and redness or pain around the injection site are the most common side effects reported. Dizziness, headache, nausea, tiredness, palpitations, a fast heartbeat and a drop in blood pressure on standing have also been reported.
  • Has found to be associated with an increased risk of osteosarcoma (a type of cancerous bone tumor) in some animal studies. It is not known if this increased risk occurs in humans; however, abaloparatide should not be given to people with unexplained elevations of alkaline phosphatase, women with Paget's disease of the bone, pre-existing bone cancer, prior radiation therapy, hereditary disorders that increase their risk of osteosarcoma, and certain other conditions.
  • Not recommended for use for longer than two years (use of teriparatide should be taken into account as part of this cumulative duration).
  • Abaloparatide is only available as the branded drug, Tymlos. There is no generic equivalent.

Notes: In general, seniors or children, people with certain medical conditions (such as liver or kidney problems, heart disease, diabetes, seizures) or people who take other medications are more at risk of developing a wider range of side effects. For a complete list of all side effects, click here.

4. Bottom Line

Abaloparatide is an injection that is given daily under the skin to treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women who have been intolerant of other medications or those medications have been ineffective. Abaloparatide should not be used for longer than two years.

5. Tips

  • Inject abaloparatide under the skin as instructed into the area around your belly button (periumbilical region). Rotate the injection site every day and administer at the same time every day. Do not administer into a vein or into a muscle. You may like to sit or lie down the first few times you administer abaloparatide, just in case you feel dizzy and faint.
  • Keep unopened abaloparatide in the refrigerator at 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F). May be stored for up to 30 days at room temperature. Each prefilled pen contains enough abaloparatide for 30 separate injections. Only use the injection pen provided with abaloparatide; do not transfer to another container. Only use if the injection solution is clear and colorless. Throw used needles away in an approved sharps container. Do not store the pen with the needle attached.
  • Your doctor may require you to take supplements or change aspects of your diet while you are taking abaloparatide. Follow his/her advice and talk to him/her before taking any other supplements or medication.
  • If you forget your daily dose of abaloparatide, just continue with your normal dosing schedule. Do not administer more than two doses in one day.
  • You may require regular blood tests and bone mineral density tests to monitor your response to abaloparatide. Always keep your appointments with your doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you experience any nausea, a headache, weakness, abdominal pain or signs of high calcium (such as bone pain, confusion, constipation, fatigue, headache, nausea and vomiting, weakness), signs of a kidney stone such as (back pain, abdominal pain, or blood in the urine), bone pain, swelling, a lump, a fast heartbeat, a bad cough or any other concerning symptoms.
  • Abaloparatide may make you feel dizzy when you get up from a lying down position to standing. Take your time when getting up to reduce your risk of having a fall.
  • Seek urgent medical attention if you develop shortness of breath or wheezing, chest pain or tightness, facial swelling, or a blue skin color.
  • Stopping smoking if you smoke and limit your alcohol intake can help maintain your bone mineral density reducing your risk of fractures.

6. Response and Effectiveness

  • Abaloparatide reaches peak blood levels in approximately 30 minutes.
  • Cumulative lifetime duration of use of abaloparatide and other parathyroid hormone analogs should not exceed two years.

References

Abaloparatide [Package Insert] 09/2018. Drugs.com. https://www.drugs.com/ppa/abaloparatide.html

Further information

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

Copyright 1996-2019 Drugs.com. Revision date: October 10, 2018.

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

Hide