Compare Reclast vs. Forteo

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



Prevents bone loss. Reclast (Zoledronate) is a first-choice treatment for osteoporosis and is available as a generic, but you have to see a doctor to get each dose.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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Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Reclast (zoledronate)
of people (All ages) say Reclast (zoledronate) is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Reclast (zoledronate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Forteo (teriparatide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
  • Joint pain 4%
  • Fever 13%
  • High blood pressure 1%
  • Headache 4%
  • Muscle pain 8%
  • Pain in extremity 1%
  • Influenza-like illness 6%
  • Nausea 4%
  • Pain 20%
  • Acute phase reaction 20%
More Reclast 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
Reclast (Zoledronate) is a bisphosphonate. It slows down osteoclasts, 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
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
  • Injection
  • Injection
Used for
Risk factors for serious side effects
    • Oral or dental surgery
    • Cancer
    • Poor oral hygiene
        Detailed Reclast (zoledronate) risks & warnings »
        • Paget's bone disease
        • Young people with open epiphyses
        • Hypercalcemia
        • Hyperparathyroidism
        • History of kidney stones
          • Digoxin use
          Detailed Forteo (teriparatide) risks & warnings »

          Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but 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.

          • People on Reclast (Zoledronate) have reported breakdown of the jaw bone. This is rare. This can happen if you have oral or dental surgery, or if you have poor oral hygiene. If you notice pain, swelling or an infection in your jaw, talk to your doctor right away. Also, tell your surgeon that you are taking Reclast (Zoledronate).
          No food related info.
          Kidneys and liver
          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.
          Upsides and benefits
          • Available in generic.
          • You only have to take this once a year.
          • 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
          • You have to go to your doctor's office or an infusion center to get each dose by IV infusion.
          • 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
          • Given as an intravenous infusion.
          • Eat normally and drink at least two glasses of liquid before your infusion.
          • Talk to your doctor if you develop swelling, pain, or a sore in your jaw.
          • Call your doctor if you develop pain in your hips, thighs or legs.
          • You can take acetaminophen (Tylenol) to lower fever and chills from the infusion.
          • If you have to have dental or oral surgery, tell your surgeon that you're taking this medication.
          • Drink plenty of liquids while you're on this medication.
          • 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 ReclastSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          Have you used Reclast (zoledronate)?
          Worth itNot sureNot worth it
          More about ForteoSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          Have you used Forteo (teriparatide)?
          Worth itNot sureNot worth it