Teriparatide is used to treat osteoporosis (thinning and weakening of bones), especially in women after their menopause and in men with hypogonadism (a condition wherein the body doesn't produce enough testosterone). It is given to those who are at high risk of fracture (broken bone) or who have failed or are intolerant to other therapies.
This medicine may also be used to treat osteoporosis due to the use of anti-inflammatory medicines, such as prednisone.
Teriparatide is to be injected subcutaneously (into the fatty layer under the skin, usually in the thigh or abdomen area).
You or your caregiver will be given the proper training on the preparation and injection techniques of this medicine.
Use Teriparatide exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not use more or less than instructed by your doctor.
This medicine is available as a pre-filled pen or as a separate solution for injection in a cartridge.
If you have been given the separated cartridge from the injection pen, you must insert the cartridge into the pen first before using it.
Make sure you know how to prepare and use the device given to you. If you have problems or do not understand the instructions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Remember to rotate the injection sites. Do not inject into the same area all the time. New injection sites should be at least 1.5 inches away from the previous injection site. Do not inject near the navel (belly button).
Do not transfer the contents of the pen to a syringe. This may result in the wrong dose of this medicine.
Do not share your injection pen with anyone else.
Do not use this medicine for more than 24 months.
Teriparatide must be used regularly for it to be effective. Continue using this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop using it unless instructed by the doctor.
Inject the missed dose as soon as you remember and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
Inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately if you forgot to administer your dose.
Do not use Teriparatide if you ever had an allergic reaction (e.g. rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes) to this medicine or any of its ingredients.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- if you suffer from high levels of calcium in the blood
- bone cancer or other cancer that has spread to the bones
- Paget's disease (a bone disorder that causes painful abnormal bone growth and deformity)
- hyperparathyroidism (high level of parathyroid hormone due to overactivity of parathyroid glands)
- unexplained elevations of a certain liver enzyme called alkaline phosphatase in the blood
- previous radiation therapy involving the bones
- inherited condition that can increase your chance of getting bone cancer
- severe kidney disease
as this medicine may not be suitable for you.
Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby soon. If you become pregnant while being treated with this medicine, alert your doctor immediately. You must use proven birth control methods while using this medicine.
Do not give this medicine to young adults whose bones are still growing, unless instructed to do so by the doctor.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- history or existing kidney stones
- autoimmune disease (a condition in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your body)
- moderate kidney disease
- liver disease
Let your doctor know if you are breastfeeding.
Some people get dizzy or experience a fast heartbeat after the first few doses of Teriparatide. For the first doses, you must administer this medicine in a place where you can sit or lie down right away if you get dizzy.
Ensure that you take enough calcium and vitamin D while being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how much of these supplements to take.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Screening for elevated alkaline phosphatase or Paget's disease may be needed before starting treatment.
- Routine tests (e.g. calcium levels in the blood and urine, bone mineral density) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
Teriparatide may cause any of the following side effects: nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, indigestion, tiredness, weakness, weight gain, runny nose, cough, throat irritation, pain in the limb, muscle cramps or pain, joint pain, back cramps or pain, nerve pain in the leg, heartburn (burning or painful sensation just below the breast bone), difficulty in sleeping, frequent urination, involuntary leakage of urine, increased sweating, fast and irregular heartbeat, pain, swelling, itching or bruising at the injection site.
This medicine may cause your blood pressure to fall suddenly when you get up from a sitting or lying down position and you may feel giddy after the first few doses. If you become lightheaded after the injection, sit or lie down until you feel better.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- bone pain or pain in any area of the body that does not go away, tender lumps or swelling under your skin
- painful skin sores or wounds
- changes in skin colour to black or purple
- confusion, constipation, low energy, muscle weakness
- rashes, breathlessness, swelling of the face, eyes or mouth
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- warfarin (blood-thinning medicine)
- anti-inflammatory medicines
- digoxin (medicine for heart disease)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Teriparatide.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in the refrigerator, between 2-8°C.
Do not freeze Teriparatide otherwise, it will no longer be effective and should not be used.
Protect from light.
If you notice that the injection has changed colour or has become cloudy, do not use it. Throw it away and use a new injection.
Throw away the injection pen after 28 days, even if it still contains some unused solution.