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Osteoporosis Message Board

Osteoporosis Board Index

While all medications carry risks, Forteo has never been linked to osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in humans.

Osteosarcoma is a rare form of bone cancer which can lead to pain, disability, and even death. Early Forteo studies were cancelled after osteosarcoma was incidentally discovered in a study involving rats. At that point, more research needed to be conducted to prove the safety of Forteo in human patients before any further human trials could resume. When we look deeper into the rat study, the rats in the trial that developed osteosarcoma were exposed to highly toxic doses of Forteo for a duration of time similar to the lifespan of the rat – doses that humans would never be exposed to. A separate study exposed monkeys to Forteo doses 10-times greater than that recommended for human use, an no instances of osteosarcoma were reported. A thorough review of all studies dating back nearly 20 years has never shown Forteo to increase the risk of osteosarcoma in the human population. Does Forteo cause osteosarcoma in humans? No – but expect to hear this risk factor routinely discussed among medical providers and patients.

The general recommendation is to avoid Forteo in patients that are at increased risk of osteosarcoma, including those who have a history of Paget’s disease, and those that have been exposed to radiation.

Hopefully this clarifies any questions you have any about this side effect in humans.

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