Forteo

1 What is Forteo?

Brand: Forteo

Generic: Teriparatide

Forteo is a recombinant form of the natural human parathyroid hormone injected for the treatment of osteoporosis. This drug promotes osteogenesis which increases bone mineral density and strength, and as a result reduces the chance of getting a fracture.

Men or postmenopausal women with osteoporosis who are at high risk for having fractures can use this drug. This drug is recommended for use in people who have had a fracture related to osteoporosis, or who have multiple risk factors for fracture, or who cannot use other osteoporosis treatments.

This drug can be used as a test to help diagnose problems of the parathyroid gland to determine whether you have hypoparathyroidism or a type of pseudohypoparathyroidism. This drug was withdrawn from the U.S. market in January 1997. 

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Forteo, the risks and benefits for your body should be discussed with your healthcare provider. Inform your healthcare provider for any allergic reactions to these drugs or any other drugs, foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals.

Carefully read the label of non-prescription drugs for any possible allergic reaction or contraindications. Studies in children regarding the correlation of age to the effects of teriparatide have not been performed while safety and efficacy have not been established. This drug is not recommended for use in children or young adults due to possible effects on growing bones.

Studies in the elderly have not demonstrated any geriatrics-specific problems that would limit the utility of teriparatide. Adverse effects have been reported in animal studies but studies in pregnant women or animals are still inadequate.

Infant risk is still undetermined when using this drug during breastfeeding. Discuss with your healthcare professional about the potential risks and benefits of taking this drug while breastfeeding.

Drugs should not be taken together to prevent any interactions but in necessary cases inquire your healthcare provider regarding the adjustments in dosage or any other necessary precautions to prevent any unwanted side effects.

Inform your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or non-prescription drugs. Intake of specific food or using alcohol or tobacco with this drug is associated with an increased risk of certain side effects. Your healthcare professional can give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Inform your doctor if you have any other medical problems such as elevated levels of alkaline phosphatase, bone cancer, hypercalcemia, metabolic bone disease, paget's disease, radiation therapy of bones, or urolithiasis.

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3 Proper Usage

To use Forteo correctly, you must follow all instructions exactly as directed in the label or as prescribed by your healthcare professional. It is important to understand how and where to inject the drug, and know the duration in which the drug is stable. Using this drug is not recommended if you see solid particles in the liquid.

The drug must not be used beyond the expiration date on the package. The drug must be injected where you can sit or lie down right away in case you get dizzy.

The dose of this drug will be variable for different patients. The directions on the label or the prescription by your healthcare professional should be followed.

The dosage of this drug you take depends on the medical problem for which you are using this drug. Adults with osteoporosis are injected 20 micrograms under the skin on the thigh or abdominal wall once daily. Use and dose in children must be determined by your healthcare professional.

A missed dose should be taken as soon as possible. However, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule if it is almost time for your next dose.

Store the drug in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing. Keep out of the reach of children. Dispose any outdated or expired drugs and ask your healthcare professional for the proper disposal of the drugs.

4 Precautions to Take

If you take Forteo, your doctor should perform routine checkups and advise you in taking precautions.

Regular visits should be made to your healthcare provider to track your progress and to monitor the effectiveness and unwanted effects of the drug. This drug must not be injected into a vein or muscle.

Lightheadedness or fast heartbeats has been associated with this drug. Sit or lie down until you feel better if this occurs. Call your healthcare professional if your symptoms do not improve.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Forteo.

Side effects may vary for each individual and prompt medical attention should be given if they occur. Some effects such as bone cancer may have a delay in onset for months or years.

Seek advice from your healthcare professional immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms such as:

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the drug, the side effects will slowly disappear.

Ask your healthcare professional about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects persists, or are inconvenient, or if you notice any other effects, or if you have any questions about them, consult with your health care professional. Report any side effects to the FDA hotline at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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