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 taking 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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Coupons for Actonel
Best available price for 1 (1 tablet of 150mg) dose pack of actonel
Coupons for Forteo
Best available price for 1 (2.4ml of 20mcg/dose) pen of forteo
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
3.78Actonel
Reviews for Actonel
36%
of people (All ages) say Actonel is worth it
19%
say it works well
25%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Actonel (risedronate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Forteo (teriparatide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ActonelForteo
  • Infection 1%
  • Back pain 2%
  • Joint pain 2%
  • Stomach pain 2%
  • Traumatic bone fracture 3%
  • High blood pressure 1%
More Actonel side effects »
  • Inflammation inside the nose 1%
  • Joint pain 2%
  • Muscle weakness 2%
  • Nausea 2%
  • Dizziness 3%
  • Headache 1%
  • Any side effect 1%
  • Sore throat 1%
More Forteo side effects »
How it works
ActonelForteo
Actonel (risedronate) is a bisphosphonate. It slows down osteoclasts, which are 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
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ActonelForteo
  • Pill
  • Injection
Used for
ActonelForteo
Risk factors for serious side effects
ActonelForteo
  • 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
  • Oral or dental surgery
  • Cancer
Detailed Actonel (risedronate) risks & warnings »
  • Paget's bone disease
  • Young people with open epiphyses
  • Hypercalcemia
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • History of kidney stones
Detailed Forteo (teriparatide) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

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.

Food
ActonelForteo
  • Although rare, breakdown of the jawbone has happened in people taking Actonel (risedronate). This is more likely to happen if you have oral or dental surgery, or if you have poor oral hygiene. If you notice pain or swelling in your jaw, talk to your doctor right away. Also, tell your surgeon that you are taking Actonel (risedronate) prior to any oral/dental procedures.
No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
ActonelForteo
No 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.
Pain
ActonelForteo
  • Talk to your doctor if you have pain with swallowing, pain in your chest or stomach, or new or worsening heartburn.
No pain related info.
Upsides and benefits
ActonelForteo
  • Actonel (risedronate) is one of the first choice medicines to treat osteoporosis.
  • It is available in generic.
  • It is available in tablets that can be taken by mouth 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 Actonel (risedronate) first thing in the morning with a full glass of water.
  • You have to remain upright for at least 30 minutes after you take it, which can be a problem if you have trouble moving.
  • 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 immediate release medicine, take it first thing when you wake up by swallowing the whole pill with a full glass of water.
  • Remain sitting or standing, and don't take any other medications, vitamins, or supplements for at least 30 minutes after you take Actonel (risedronate).
  • If you forget to take your dose, skip it and take it the following morning.
  • Keep taking your calcium and vitamin D.
  • Talk to your doctor if you have pain with swallowing, pain in your chest or stomach, or new or worsening heartburn.
  • If you develop pain in your jaw, hips, or thighs, call your doctor.
  • 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
Have you used Actonel (risedronate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ForteoSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Forteo (teriparatide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it