Compare Actonel vs. Forteo

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Actonel
(Risedronate)

Forteo
(Teriparatide)

Prevents bone loss. Actonel (Risedronate) is a first-choice treatment for osteoporosis and is available as a generic, but how you have to take it can be a hassle.Prevents bone loss. Forteo (Teriparatide) is a good second-choice medication to treat bone loss, but it's only available as an injectable.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
3.783132530120482Actonel
Reviews for Actonel (Risedronate)
36%
of people say Actonel (Risedronate) is worth it
19%
say it works well
25%
say it's a big hassle

Not enough reviews for this drug. Help someone out, leave a review!

Side effects
ActonelForteo

We haven’t found good data for Actonel side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Actonel »
  • Dizziness 3%
  • Joint pain 2%
  • Fainting 2%
  • Leg cramps 2%
  • Muscle weakness 2%
  • Inflammation inside the nose 1%
  • Indigestion 1%
  • Vertigo 1%
  • Low mood disorder 1%
  • Tooth disorder 1%
More Forteo side effects »
How it works
ActonelForteo
Actonel (Risedronate) is a bisphosphonate. It slows down osteoclasts, the cells that break down bone. This results in greater bone mass and lowers the possibility of fractures.Forteo (Teriparatide) works by stimulating cells that build up and strengthen your bones.
Type of medication
ActonelForteo
BisphosphonatePrescription only
Osteoporosis
Parathyroid hormone
Prescription only
Available as
ActonelForteo
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Injection
Used for (click to learn more)
ActonelForteo
Risk factors for serious side effects
ActonelForteo
      • Oral or dental surgery
      • Cancer
      • Poor oral hygiene
          Detailed Actonel (Risedronate) risks & warnings »
          • Paget's bone disease
          • Young people with open epiphyses
          • Hypercalcemia
          • Hyperparathyroidism
          • History of kidney stones
            • Digoxin use
            Detailed Forteo (Teriparatide) risks & warnings »
            Pregnancy category
            ActonelForteo
            CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

            Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

            See the FDA package insert
            CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

            Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

            See the FDA package insert
            Alcohol
            No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
            Food
            • If you're taking the extended release medication, take it after your first meal of the day with at least a half cup of water.
            No specific food-related info.
            Kidneys and liver
            No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
            • Forteo (Teriparatide) can cause kidney stones, especially if you have high calcium levels in your urine. If kidney stones are suspected, your doctor can measure the amount of calcium in your urine to see if you are at risk. Be careful using this medication if you have a history of kidney stones.
            Sex
            No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
            Sleep
            No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
            Weight
            • Consider adding weight-bearing exercises as part of your exercise routine.
            No specific weight-related info.
            Upsides and benefits
            ActonelForteo
            • Available in generic.
            • Available in oral tablets that can be taken once or twice a month, once a week, or once a day.
            • If you're unable to use bisphosphonates or are still having fractures despite being on other medications, Forteo (Teriparatide) can be a good alternative.
            • You can start using Forteo (Teriparatide) as soon as you stop using bisphosphonates.
            Downsides and risks
            ActonelForteo
            • You have to take it first thing in the morning with a full glass of water.
            • You have to remain upright for at least 30 minutes after you take the medication, which can be a problem if you have mobility issues.
            • Only available as a brand medication, so it can be expensive.
            • You have to inject this every day, so it may not be a good option if you don't like needles.
            • Shouldn't take this longer than 18 to 24 months since it can increase the risk of bone cancers.
            Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
            ActonelForteo
            • If you're taking the fast release medication, take it first thing when you wake up by swallowing the whole pill with a full glass of water.
            • Don't eat or drink anything for 30 minutes after you've taken the fast release medication.
            • If you're taking the extended release medication, take it after your first meal of the day with at least a half cup of water.
            • Stay sitting or standing and Don't take any other medications, vitamins or supplements for at least 30 minutes after you take the medication.
            • If you have pain with swallowing, around your chest or stomach, or new or worsening heartburn, talk to your doctor.
            • Call your doctor if you develop pain in your jaw, hips or thighs.
            • Keep taking your calcium and vitamin D.
            • If you forget to take your dose, skip it and take it the following morning.
            • Some of these medications are only taken once or twice a month, others are taken once a week and others once a day. Talk to your pharmacist if you're not sure.
            • Consider adding weight-bearing exercises as part of your exercise routine.
            • You should be sitting or lying down when you inject Forteo (Teriparatide) since it can make you dizzy.
            • You should inject Forteo (Teriparatide) under the skin in either your thigh or stomach.
            • Make sure the liquid in the vial of Forteo (Teriparatide) is clear and colorless before you inject it. Don't use it if it looks cloudy, colored, or if you see particles inside.
            Learn more
            More about ActonelSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
            More about ForteoSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert