Abaloparatide: 7 things you should know
Medically reviewed by Carmen Fookes, BPharm. Last updated on March 2, 2023.
1. How it works
- Abaloparatide may be used to increase bone density.
- Abaloparatide is a man-made version of a protein related to the 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 that 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.
- 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 for 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.
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.
- Is 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.
Note: 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. View complete list of side effects
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.
- Inject abaloparatide under the skin as instructed into the area around your belly button (periumbilical region). Rotate the injection site every day and administer it at the same time every day. Do not administer into a vein or 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 pre-filled 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, headaches, 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 blue skin color.
- To help maintain your bone mineral density and reduce your risk of fracturing a bone, stop smoking if you smoke and limit your alcohol intake.
6. Response and effectiveness
- Abaloparatide reaches peak blood levels in approximately 30 minutes.
- The cumulative lifetime duration of use of abaloparatide and other parathyroid hormone analogs should not exceed two years.
Few interaction studies have been done with abaloparatide. Medicines that interact with abaloparatide may either decrease its effect, affect how long it works, increase side effects, or have less of an effect when taken with abaloparatide. An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of the medications; however, sometimes it does. Speak to your doctor about how drug interactions should be managed.
Common medications that may interact with abaloparatide include:
- calcipotriene topical
- calcitriol topical
Abaloparatide, at recommended dosages, does not inhibit or induce cytochrome P450 enzymes.
Note that this list is not all-inclusive and includes only common medications that may interact with abaloparatide. You should refer to the prescribing information for abaloparatide for a complete list of interactions.
More about abaloparatide
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- Drug class: parathyroid hormone and analogs
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Related treatment guides
- Abaloparatide. Reviewed 04/2022. ASHP https://www.drugs.com/monograph/abaloparatide.html
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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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