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UAB Tone Your Bones

Forteo is the brand name for PTH or parathyroid hormone. Our bodies produce PTH continuously throughout the day. Many studies have shown that when parathyroid hormone is given in a single dose once a day, bone density increases dramatically. Because the stomach would destroy PTH before it enters bloodstream if you took it as a pill, PTH is taken as an injection. If you are         interested in taking Forteo, discuss with your physician if it is the right drug for you. It is often the drug of choice for people with severe osteoporosis (people who have osteoporosis and have    already experienced fractures).


  • Forteo is a drug that works by increasing bone building - it actually increases the activity of the bone building cells.

  • Forteo can increase your bone density to higher levels than other medications.

  • Forteo can lower your risk of breaking a bone quickly-often within 6 months.

  • Forteo has few side effects and does not interact with food or other medications.


  • Most common side effects: dizziness, leg cramps

  • Forteo comes with a "black box warning" because it increased the risk of bone cancer (osteosarcoma) in laboratory rats in research studies. However, when researchers studied Forteo in primates (monkeys), they did not find any increased risk of bone cancer.

  • None of the people in the human studies got bone cancer. People with naturally high PTH   levels do not have a higher risk of bone cancer, however, some patients should not take Forteo for specific reasons that your doctor will discuss with you.

  • Forteo is an injection - but the injection is in the form of an easy-to-use pen where you simply dial up the dose and push a button.

Forteo tips:   

  • At first, sit down when taking Forteo to make sure you do not experience dizziness

  • You can take Forteo any time - with or without food.

  • Try to take it at the same time every day

  • Don't use your Forteo pen if it looks cloudy or colored

  • Don't use a Forteo pen that is past the expiration date

  • Keep Forteo refrigerated

  • Be sure your doctor or a patient educator teaches you how to use your Forteo pen step by step.