Forteo is used for treating men and postmenopausal women with osteoporosis who are at high risk for fractures. The drug is not approved for use in children. Healthcare providers may also occasionally recommend off-label Forteo uses, such as for the treatment of osteoporosis due to steroid use, low levels of parathyroid hormone, and osteoporosis in premenopausal women.
Forteo Uses: An Overview
Forteo™ (teriparatide) is a prescription medication that is approved for the treatment of osteoporosis. It is a manufactured version of parathyroid hormone and must be given by injection. Specifically Forteo is approved for use in the following groups of people:
- Postmenopausal women with osteoporosis and a high risk for a fracture
- Men with primary osteoporosis (that is not due to other medical conditions or medications) or hypogonadal osteoporosis (which is caused by low levels of testosterone) and a high risk for a fracture
- Men or women with osteoporosis due to long-term use of glucocorticoid steroids (such as prednisone) and a high risk for a fracture.
If you have osteoporosis, you may be at high risk for fractures if:
- You have already had a fracture due to osteoporosis
- You cannot take other osteoporosis medications (or they have not been effective for you)
- Your healthcare provider thinks you are at high risk for fractures.
Forteo Uses for Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis, which means "porous bone," is a disease characterized by low bone mass (bone thinning) that leads to fragile bones and an increased risk of fractures of the hip, spine, and wrist. Men as well as women are affected by this condition. Fortunately, osteoporosis is a disease that can be prevented and treated.
Common causes of osteoporosis include:
- Age-related bone loss
- Alcohol abuse
- Long-term corticosteroid use
- Certain diseases.
Race and ethnicity may play a role in developing osteoporosis as well, but more research is needed to determine the connection.
Often, osteoporosis treatment is not started until a bone is broken, as there are usually no symptoms of osteoporosis. However, treatment may be started earlier if the disease is detected using a test (see Diagnosing Osteoporosis).