Compare Prolia vs. Forteo

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

Prolia (Denosumab)

Prescription only

Forteo (Teriparatide)

Prescription only
Prevents bone loss.

Prolia (Denosumab) is an effective and convenient treatment for osteoporosis if other options haven’t worked or aren’t appropriate for you. There’re risks of some rare side effects, so make sure you're following up with your doctor regularly.

4.9/ 7 average rating with 15 reviewsforProlia
Prevents bone loss.

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

  • Prolia (Denosumab) is effective at preventing bone loss, making your bones stronger and lowering your chance of getting a fracture.
  • Only need to get an injection every 6 months, so you don’t have to remember to take something every 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.
  • Approved for women only after they’ve reached menopause. Don’t use this if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
  • Can lower blood calcium levels. You might need to take calcium supplements to prevent this.
  • Not available as a generic.
  • 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
  • Injection
  • Injection
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Side effects
10possible side effects
  • Back pain
  • Pain in extremity
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Cystitis
  • Vertigo
  • Edema peripheral
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
  • Sciatica
  • Pneumonia
See more detailed side effects
The Forteo (Teriparatide) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and warnings
  • Leg bone fractures

    Taking steroids

  • Low calcium blood levels

    Kidney problems

    ...and 3 more risk factors

  • Infection

    Weak immune system

    ...and 1 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


    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Kidney stones

    History of kidney stones

  • Drug interactions

    Digoxin use

See more detailed risks and warnings