Forteo side effects--will they generalize to other osteoporosis meds?

During my second month on Forteo, I began to experience dizziness and vertigo. I felt awful, driving became difficult, and it became hard to walk a straight line. The symptoms diminished somewhat when I started dosing every other day. I went off Forteo for 2 weeks, and the symptoms totally disappeared. But then after a single dose, the dizziness and vertigo returned. I will never take Forteo again.

My doctor is now suggesting that I switch to Prolia. He claims that he's never had a patient who had side effects on Prolia (although he's reportedly had lots of complaints about side effects with Reclast). My issue is that Prolia (and Reclast) list vertigo and dizziness as possible side effects. Is it possible that I developed these side effects on Forteo because of a vulnerability to these symptoms? Might they also be a (long-lasting) problem on Prolia? (I've never had side effects from a medication before--but I've been pretty healthy and haven't taken many medications.)

Any advice? I don't totally trust my doctor.

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Hi BostonT ~

I have no way to know if you will have side effects from Prolia. This is just my opinion..
The Forteo can be stopped as you clearly know. Prolia stays in the body longer and has no
way to un-do the shot. You might want to consider the pros and cons for you personally
on that.

Wishing you the Best,


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Hi BostonT,

Did you have your parathyroid surgery? The reason why I ask is because it will be particularly necessary that you have your calcium levels checked prior to and "during treatment" with a drug such as Prolia.

I haven't experienced any dizziness or vertigo with Prolia myself (knock on wood). :)

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Little-Sparrow, I did have parathyroid surgery last January. My calcium level after a month of Forteo was 9.9. My doctor thought that this was okay. I'll ask about doing another level before starting Prolia. But I've decided not to start anything until AFTER I speak to my doctor personally. He's been communicating with me through his staff, which really isn't acceptable to me. I'm still concerned that there could be something about my body that makes me more vulnerable to dizziness and vertigo than other people--and I sure don't want to be stuck with those symptoms for 6 months.

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Did you call the Forteo connect line to let them know of your reaction? Lily needs to know so they can record this type of reaction. It is helpful to get feedback and find out if anyone else has ever experienced the symptoms you are having. My endo also called to report my symptoms. My doc suggested Prolia, but I'm concerned with the finality of a 6 month injection and 6 months of possible side effects I can't undo and would have to "wait out". She said it was also a bone builder but after my Forteo experience and a failure of calcitonin (stopped working after 3 or 4 months) I am done with the meds as I'm unwilling to use anything else except natural supplements now and trusting God (declaring His word over my situation) daily. Best of luck to whatever you decide to do. Your instinct will be your best guide and don't feel bullied or pressured to do one thing over the other. This is your body, and your decision. I wish I could have stayed with the Forteo, but unfortunately it wasn't for me.

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BostonT ~

Hi again,

I forgot to mention. I was given recently from my OP specialist the option of 3 treatments. I sometimes don't
go into detail because I have posted on here already about this in other threads.
Reclast, Prolia or Forteo. He gave me the brochures and safety data sheets on all three.

I personally right off the bat said, 'no way' to reclast. I had the forteo on the table as it can be stopped since it's a daily
injection. I happen to have a normal parathyroid. I've never had thyroid issues. The more I learned about
forteo - I found among other things that concerned me. Forteo works somehow with the thyroid to
do it's thing... I felt I didn't want to possibly risk my healthy thyroid. I am 50, and Forteo's black box warning
that one can only take this 2 years in a lifetime vs my age as well.

That's one good thing since you were able to stop the Forteo when you had side effects.

I hope you not only get to speak to your DR. about your concerns and so on. That you also
can learn all you can about Prolia. You can do searches on google and read about this medicine.
Get as much information as you can so that you are comfortable with treatment for yourself.
I did read a post from a gal here that did have her bone improve after Prolia.
I think the name of that topic is, 'Has anyone had bone improvement' < something like that..

It is a very hard thing to have side effects, then try another drug that stays in your body
longer. Perhaps compare ingredients of Forteo & Prolia among other research to decide what is best for you.

Wishing you all the Best!


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Yes, I reported my side effects to Forteo. Dizziness/vertigo are already known side effects of Forteo. Getting information about Prolia (beyond what's available in the package insert) is proving to be very difficult. The nurse I spoke to at their consumer info number transferred me to a Prolia "product specialist." She could not answer my questions but thought that one of their research scientists might know more about side effects. However, since I was a patient (and not a physician), I was not permitted to speak to the researchers! That made me SO angry. So what am I supposed to do now? Hold a gun to my doctor's head and force him to call the manufacturers for me? Maybe call back and pretend to be a physician? Prolia's use of a (B-level) celebrity to endorse their product really irks me, too. Do they really think I'm going to choose an osteoporosis treatment because some actress allegedly uses it?

Krissty, you might consider trying weekly Fosamax pills. The research I've read states that it's just as effective as Reclast at preventing fractures, and the duration of any side effects should not be long-lasting. You might also want to re-consider Forteo. From what I read, some rats did develop a rare bone cancer after receiving huge doses of Forteo. I don't believe that there has ever been a documented case of this bone cancer in a human being associated with Forteo use. On the other hand, there are many documented cases of fractures and jaw problems associated with Reclast, Prolia, and Fosamax.

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Hey Boston T
it sounds like the similar side effects that i experienced on Forteo
i did switch to Prolia but i experienced problems on that - after three days on Prolia
i could not close my hands - it was like i had super painful arthritis
incidentally, my doc also said that she hadn't had a patient who had a problem with Forteo until me!

have you read th fabulous book YOUR BONES by LARA PIZZORNO?
It was a great starting point for me after my run with Forteo and Prolia

Good luck!
TX Pearl

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TX Pearl, please don't tell me that the problems that you had after 3 days on Prolia lasted for 6 months.

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