Compare Actonel vs. Forteo

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

Actonel (risedronate)

Prescription only

Forteo (Teriparatide)

Prescription only
Prevents bone loss and fracture.

Actonel (risedronate) is a first-choice treatment for osteoporosis, but taking it can be a hassle.

2.9/ 5 average rating with 83 reviewsforActonel
Prevents bone loss.

Forteo (Teriparatide) is a good second-choice medication to treat bone loss, but it's only available as an injectable.

Upsides
  • Actonel (risedronate) is one of the first choice medicines used for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis.
  • Available in a cheaper, generic form.
  • Can take tablet form 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
  • Need to take Actonel (risedronate) on an empty stomach first thing in the morning with a full glass of water.
  • Requires the person taking this medicine to remain upright for at least 30 minutes after taking it, which can be a problem for those who have trouble sitting or standing.
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Delayed-release pill
  • Injection
Price
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Reviews
83 reviews so far
36%
saidit'sworth it
19%
saiditworked well
25%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
33possible side effects
  • Infection
    31%
  • Back pain
    28%
  • Joint pain
    24%
  • Accidental injury
    17%
  • Generalized pain
    14%
  • Constipation
    13%
  • Stomach pain
    12%
  • Traumatic bone fracture
    12%
  • Flu-like symptoms
    11%
  • High blood pressure
    11%
  • Diarrhea
    11%
  • Indigestion
    11%
  • Nausea
    11%
  • Headache
    10%
  • Bronchitis
    10%
  • Urinary tract infection
    10%
  • Sinus infection
    9%
  • Swelling in the arms or legs
    8%
  • Joint problems
    7%
  • Muscle pain
    7%
  • Dizziness
    7%
  • Depression
    7%
  • Rash
    7%
  • Cataracts
    7%
  • Stuffy or runny nose
    6%
  • Sore throat
    6%
  • Increased cough
    6%
  • Weakness
    5%
  • Neck pain
    5%
  • Chest pain
    5%
  • Bone pain
    5%
  • Sleep difficulty
    5%
  • Allergic reaction
    4%
See more detailed side effects
The Forteo (Teriparatide) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Irritation and ulcers in the stomach and esophagus
    • History of ulcers, or other stomach or esophageal problems
    • History of difficulty swallowing
    • Unable to sit upright or stand for 30 minutes after taking the medicine
  • Pain in the bones and/or muscles
  • Problems in the jawbone
    • Oral or dental surgery
    • Cancer
    • Poor oral hygiene
  • Leg bone fractures
  • Low calcium in the blood
    • History of low calcium in the blood
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Malignant tumor of the bone
    • Paget's bone disease
    • Young people with open epiphyses
  • High calcium blood levels
    • Hypercalcemia
    • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Kidney stones
    • History of kidney stones
  • Positional low blood pressure
  • Drug interactions
    • Digoxin use
See more detailed risks and warnings