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Teriparatide (By injection)

Treats osteoporosis (weak or brittle bones) in men, and in women who have gone through menopause.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Teriparatide is a synthetic form of the natural human parathyroid hormone and is used by injection to treat osteoporosis. Teriparatide forms new bone, increases bone mineral density and bone strength, and as a result reduces the chance of getting a fracture (broken bone). Teriparatide can be used by men or postmenopausal women with osteoporosis who are at high risk for having fractures.… Read more
Brand names include
Forteo
Drug classes About this
Calcium Regulator

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

A systematic review and economic evaluation of alendronate, etidronate, risedronate, raloxifene and teriparatide for the prevention and treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a common disease in the elderly, with an estimated 2.1 million female sufferers in England and Wales. It is defined as possessing a T-score of -2.5 standard deviations or lower. The main consequence of osteoporosis is an increased incidence of fractures, notably at the hip, spine, wrist and proximal humerus, which increases as a woman ages. These result not only in morbidity for the patient, with a risk of mortality following fractures of the hip, and possibly of the vertebra, but also in the consumption of scarce health resources. A recent estimate of the cost in the UK of osteoporotic fractures in females has put this figure at £2100 million. A woman who has suffered a fracture is defined as suffering from severe osteoporosis.

A systematic review and economic evaluation of alendronate, etidronate, risedronate, raloxifene and teriparatide for the prevention and treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis

OBJECTIVES: To establish the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of selective oestrogen receptor modulators, bisphosphonates and parathyroid hormone (subject to licensing) for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and the prevention of osteoporotic fractures in postmenopausal women.

Effect of teriparatide on bone mineral density and fracture in postmenopausal osteoporosis: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials

This review found that teriparatide was effective in the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis, with reductions in risks of fracture and improvements in bone mineral density. Although the quality of the studies was generally low, the authors' conclusions are likely to be reliable.

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Summaries for consumers

Interventions for treating osteonecrosis of the jaw bones associated with bisphosphonate drugs

Bisphosphonates are drugs very similar to pyrophosphate (a normal substance found in bone). They are used to lessen symptoms and complications due to the spread of cancer to the bones, and to prevent and treat fragile bones in osteoporosis (a conditon where tiny holes in the bones makes them brittle). These drugs can cause a rare but serious condition called bisphosphonate‐related osteonecrosis of the jaw or 'BRONJ'. BRONJ affects the healing of bone damage by interrupting the process of removing dead bone and laying down new bone. When this happens, parts or all of the jaw bone becomes friable (a bit like chalk), and eventually this dead bone can be exposed. This makes it difficult for people to eat, speak or brush their teeth, and it often causes severe pain.

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