Compare Forteo vs. calcitonin

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


Forteo (Teriparatide)

Prescription only

Miacalcin (calcitonin)

Prescription only
Prevents bone loss.

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

Treats high calcium levels and prevents bone loss.

Miacalcin (calcitonin) can be used for osteoporosis, but it is not a first choice because there are more effective medications available.

  • 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.
  • Using the nasal spray causes fewer side effects than the injectable version.
  • Can help with bone pain if you've had a recent fracture.
  • Available in 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.
  • Miacalcin (calcitonin) is not as effective as other medications used to stop bone loss or lower calcium levels.
  • You're at a higher risk for certain cancers while taking Miacalcin (calcitonin).
  • If you're allergic to fish, you might also be allergic to Miacalcin (calcitonin).
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Injection
  • Nasal spray
  • Injection
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Side effects
The Forteo (Teriparatide) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
6possible side effects
  • Stuffy nose
  • Nose irritation
  • Back pain
  • Joint pain
  • Bloody nose
  • Headache
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Malignant tumor of the bone
    • Paget's bone disease
    • Young people with open epiphyses
  • High calcium blood levels
    • Hypercalcemia
    • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Kidney stones
    • History of kidney stones
  • Positional low blood pressure
  • Drug interactions
    • Digoxin use
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Allergic reaction
    • Allergy to fish
  • Seizures
    • Seizure history
    • Low calcium in blood
  • Nasal problems
    • Age 65 and above
  • Cancer
    • History of cancer
See more detailed risks and warnings