Worst Pills
teriparatide (FORTEO)

Drug and Dietary Supplement Profiles

A comprehensive review of the safety and effectiveness of this drug. If the drug is not a Do Not Use product, information on adverse effects, drug interactions and how to use the medication are included.
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  • teriparatide (FORTEO)
    We list this drug as a Do Not Use drug because it has not been shown to reduce fractures in men and caused bone cancer in animal studies.

Disease and Drug Family Information

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  • Hormone Replacement Therapy [hide all summaries]
    In 1991, the Health Research Group published the Women’s Health Alert. The largest chapter in the book was on hormone replacement therapy (HRT). By then, the evidence was clear that these drugs caused breast cancer, and very serious doubts had been raised about their ability to protect against heart disease. The first sentence in this chapter began: Female replacement hormones may someday be remembered as the most recklessly prescribed and dangerous drugs of this century.
  • Osteoporosis [hide all summaries]
    Osteoporosis is a reduction in bone mass and weakening of bone architecture that increases the susceptibility of bone to fracture. Bone is a living tissue that is constantly being broken down and resynthesized at 1 to 2 million microscopic sites in the adult skeleton. Osteoporosis occurs when the rate of breakdown is faster than the rate of resynthesis. The history of the treatment or prevention of osteoporosis is strewn with drugs such as estrogens—discussed below—and others in this chapter with marginal effectiveness or with risks clearly outweighing the benefits.

Worst Pills, Best Pills Newsletter Articles

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  • A Guide to Treatments for Osteoporosis [hide all summaries]
    (May 2015)
    Drug treatment can prevent broken bones in some women with osteoporosis. But drugs are not always necessary and can cause harmful side effects, especially when treatment lasts longer than needed. Read this article to learn who should take osteoporosis drugs, which drugs to take and for how long.
  • DO NOT USE! Teriparatide (FORTEO) — A New Drug For Osteoporosis [hide all summaries]
    (April 2003)
    Teriparatide should not be used by men. Clearly, without evidence that teriparatide reduces fracture, the possibility of osteosarcoma outweighs any theoretical benefit of the drug. Our recommendation for women is the same, but for different reasons. There is evidence of reduced fracture risk in both vertebral and non-vertebral locations; however, the absolute risk of vertebral fracture reductions is not large and many vertebral fractures are asymptomatic. Finally, alendronate appears to offer a comparable level of protection without the concerns of osteosarcoma.

Additional Information from Public Citizen

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