Compare Fosamax vs. Forteo

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

Fosamax (alendronate)

Prescription only

Forteo (Teriparatide)

Prescription only
Prevents bone loss.

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

4.3/ 7 average rating with 169 reviewsforFosamax
Prevents bone loss.

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

Upsides
  • 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
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Effervescent tablet
  • Liquid
  • Injection
Price
Lowest price near you
$4
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Lowest price near you
$3064.85
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Reviews
169 
43%
think this treatment is worth it
30%
think this treatment works well
19%
think this treatment is a hassle

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Side effects
1possible side effects
  • Abdominal pain
    2%
See more detailed side effects
The Forteo (Teriparatide) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and warnings
  • Irritation and ulcers to the stomach and esophagus

    Taking anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen, and naproxen

    ...and 3 more risk factors

  • Problems in the jaw bone

    Oral or dental surgery

    ...and 3 more risk factors

See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Malignant tumor of the bone

    Paget's bone disease

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • High calcium blood levels

    Hypercalcemia

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Kidney stones

    History of kidney stones

  • Drug interactions

    Digoxin use

See more detailed risks and warnings