Teriparatide (Forteo®) is used to treat osteoporosis (bone loss) in men and women who are at high risk of fracture. It is made similar to our body's parathyroid hormone (PTH). PTH is important to maintain healthy bones. Teriparatide works by stimulating new bone formation and increasing bone strength therefore reducing the risk of fracture.
Common side effects that you may encounter when you use this medication
You can inform your healthcare professional if you experience other side effects other than the above that is making you feel unwell.
Inform your doctor if you have or have had calculi or stones in the urinary tract or low blood pressure. Other medications such as diuretics and digoxin may interfere with teriparatide. Do inform your doctor as well.
Before you take Forteo, inform your healthcare provider if you are taking any herbal medications, medications such as digoxin or have any other medical conditions.
Teriparatide is given by injection (pre-filled pen) under the subcutaneous (skin) into the thigh or abdomen. The dose for teriparatide is 20mcg once daily up to 2 years. For the first few doses, take the injection where you can sit or lie down as some people may feel dizzy after using Forteo. This usually happens within 4 hours after taking Forteo and goes away within a few hours.
If you forget your dose, inject it as soon as possible on the same day. If it is almost time to inject your next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not have double injections on the same day as it may increase chances of experiencing unwanted side effects. For subsequent doses, go back to the original timing.
Seek medical help nearest to you by visiting the Accident and Emergency Department. Signs and symptoms of overdose may include high blood calcium levels, dizziness, light-headed on standing up. Nausea, vomiting and headache may also occur.
Teriparatide has to be stored in the fridge where the temperature stays between 2-8oC. Do not use if teriparatide has been frozen. Each pre-filled pen can be used up to 28 days after the first injection. After the 28 day, discard the pen even if it contains some unused solution. Teriparatide is a clear and colourless liquid. Do not use if solid particles appear or if the solution is cloudy or coloured.
Patients who administer Forteo should receive appropriate training and instruction on the proper use of the device from a qualified healthcare professional.
You may be recommended to supplement vitamin D and calcium when you start this medication
During testing, teriparatide used in rats, developed osteosarcoma (bone cancer) with higher doses and longer periods of treatment. Osteosarcoma in human is serious but a very rare cancer. Before you use Forteo, inform your healthcare provider if you have Paget's disease of bone, unexplained elevation of alkaline phosphatase, are a child or young adult whose bones are still growing or have had radiation therapy.
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