Compare Fosamax vs. Forteo

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

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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.

3.2/ 5 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.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Effervescent tablet
  • Liquid
  • Injection
Price
Lowest price
$3280.18
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Reviews
169 reviews so far
43%
saidit'sworth it
30%
saiditworked well
19%
saidit'sa big 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 risk factors
  • Irritation and ulcers to the stomach and esophagus
    • 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
  • Pain in the bones and muscles
  • Problems in the jaw bone
    • Oral or dental surgery
    • Cancer
    • Poor oral hygiene
    • Prolonged use of Fosamax (alendronate)
  • Leg bone fractures
  • Low calcium in the blood
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • 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