Compare Prolia vs. Forteo

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

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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.

3.6/ 5 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.

Upsides
  • 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.
Downsides
  • 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.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Injection
  • Injection
Price
Lowest price
$2210.25
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Lowest price
$3280.18
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Reviews
15 reviews so far
33%
saidit'sworth it
40%
saiditworked well
27%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
27possible side effects
  • Back pain
    35%
  • Pain in extremity
    12%
  • Musculoskeletal pain
    8%
  • Hypercholesterolemia
    7%
  • Cystitis
    6%
  • Vertigo
    5%
  • Edema peripheral
    5%
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
    5%
  • Sciatica
    5%
  • Pneumonia
    4%
  • Bone pain
    4%
  • Anemia
    3%
  • Angina pectoris
    3%
  • Abdominal pain upper
    3%
  • Myalgia
    3%
  • Insomnia
    3%
  • Rash
    3%
  • Atrial fibrillation
    2%
  • Flatulence
    2%
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
    2%
  • Asthenia
    2%
  • Pharyngitis
    2%
  • Herpes zoster
    2%
  • Spinal osteoarthritis
    2%
  • Pruritus
    2%
  • Mortality
    2%
  • Adverse events
    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
  • Leg bone fractures
    • Taking steroids
  • Hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions
  • Low calcium blood levels
    • Kidney problems
    • Not taking calcium supplements
    • Taking other medicines that can lower calcium blood levels
    • History of hypoparathyroidism (low levels of parathyroid hormone)
  • Infection
    • Weak immune system
    • Taking medicines that block your immune system (such as transplant medications or steroids)
  • Problems in the jaw bone
    • Oral or dental surgery
    • Cancer diagnosis
    • Taking steroids or chemotherapy
    • Poor oral hygiene
  • Pain in the bones and muscles
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