Compare Fosamax vs. Forteo

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

Fosamax
(alendronate)

Forteo
(teriparatide)

Prevents bone loss. Fosamax (alendronate) is a first-choice treatment for osteoporosis, 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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Prices and coupon for 1 (4 tablets of 70mg) dose pack of alendronate
Coupons for
Prices and coupon for 1 (2.4ml of 20mcg/dose) pen of teriparatide
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.27Fosamax
Reviews for Fosamax (alendronate)
43%
of people (All ages) say Fosamax (alendronate) is worth it
30%
say it works well
19%
say it's a big hassle
169 reviews
Have you used Fosamax (alendronate)?
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Have you used Forteo (teriparatide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
FosamaxForteo
  • Abdominal pain 2%
  • Bone, muscle or joint pain 1%
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Gas 2%
  • Headache 1%
  • Constipation 1%
  • Ulcer in esophagus 2%
More Fosamax 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
FosamaxForteo
Fosamax (alendronate) is a bisphosphonate, which inhibits bone breakdown.Forteo (Teriparatide) works by stimulating cells that build up and strengthen your bones.
Type of medication
FosamaxForteo
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
FosamaxForteo
  • Pill
  • Effervescent tablet
  • Liquid
  • Injection
Used for
FosamaxForteo
Risk factors for serious side effects
FosamaxForteo
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen, and naproxen
  • History of ulcers or stomach or esophageal conditions
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Problems sitting or standing for at least 30 minutes
    • Oral or dental surgery
    • Cancer
    • Poor oral hygiene
    • Prolonged use of Fosamax (alendronate)
        Detailed Fosamax (alendronate) 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

          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.

          Kidneys and liver
          FosamaxForteo
          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
          FosamaxForteo
          • Fosamax (alendronate) can cause bone and muscle pain. However, this is very rare. Stop taking the medication and talk to your doctor if this happens to you.
          • Fosamax (alendronate) can cause fractures in the legs as a result of little or no force. This is rare. If you notice a new dull or aching pain in your hips or thighs, talk to your doctor right away.
          No pain related info.
          Upsides and benefits
          FosamaxForteo
          • First choice to treat osteoporosis
          • Lowers your risk of fractures due to osteoporosis.
          • Available generic.
          • Available as daily, weekly, or twice weekly dosing.
          • Comes as a regular tablet, an oral solution, or effervescent tablet.
          • 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
          FosamaxForteo
          • Can harm your esophagus if you don't remain upright for 30 minutes after taking it.
          • Not recommended for people who can't sit or stand upright for at least 30 minutes.
          • Can increase the risk of atypical fractures.
          • Can cause bad heartburn or stomach problems.
          • 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
          FosamaxForteo
          • Take first thing in the morning with a full glass of water.
          • Avoid eating or drinking for 30 minutes after taking Fosamax (alendronate).
          • Remain upright for 30 minutes after taking Fosamax (alendronate).
          • Talk to your doctor if you develop pain around jaw, throat, chest, abdomen, hips or thighs.
          • Let your doctor know if you have any major dental procedures coming up. You may need to temporarily stop taking Fosamax (alendronate).
          • Dissolve the effervescent tablet in 4 ounces of plain water. When solution stops fizzing, wait 5 minutes before stirring for 10 seconds and drinking.
          • 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 FosamaxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          Have you used Fosamax (alendronate)?
          Worth itNot sureNot worth it
          More about ForteoSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          Have you used Forteo (teriparatide)?
          Worth itNot sureNot worth it