teriparatide (Forteo)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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GENERIC NAME: teriparatide (rDNA origin) injection


DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Teriparatide (Forteo) is a prescription medicine used to treat osteoporosis, a bone disease that over time causes bones to become fragile and more likely to break. Teriparatide is similar to human parathyroid hormone (PTH) and is made using recombinant DNA (rDNA) technology. PTH is naturally produced by the body and is the key regulator of calcium and phosphate metabolism in the bone and kidney. Calcium and phosphate are the main minerals necessary for bone health. PTH also increases the absorption of calcium in the intestines. Teriparatide binds to the same receptors as natural PTH and mimics the favorable effects of PTH on bone health. Beneficial effects of teriparatide in osteoporosis treatment include reduced bone turnover, formation of new bone, and increased bone mineral density and bone strength. Teriparatide was first approved by the FDA in 2002.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Teriparatide is a prescription medicine that is used to treat (1) postmenopausal women with osteoporosis who are at high risk for bone fractures, (2) men with primary or hypogonadal osteoporosis at high risk for fractures, and (3) men and women with osteoporosis due to the use of steroid medicines who are at high risk for fractures.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of teriparatide are

Teriparatide can cause some serious side effects including a drop in blood pressure when getting up from a sitting or lying position (orthostatic hypotension) and increased calcium in the blood.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/19/2015

Quick GuideOsteoporosis Pictures Slideshow: Are Your Bones at Risk?

Osteoporosis Pictures Slideshow: Are Your Bones at Risk?
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