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Osteoporosis Message Board

Osteoporosis Board Index


I was diagnosed with osteoporosis at age 45 and spent four years taking either Fosamax or, most recently, Actonel. My T-scores just kept getting worse. In June of this year, my spine was -3.1, and at that point, an endo I had just started seeing recommended Forteo. At the time of my diagnosis, I was tested for parathyroid problems, which can interfere with calcium production, and for "female" hormone levels. The month I turned 46, five months after being diagnosed with osteoporosis, I had my last menstrual cycle.

I have been on Forteo since early July. My doctor is being very casual about blood work. At the one-month mark, she did test my serum calcium, intact PTH, and vitamin D levels. I just saw her again today, and she didn't mention any further bloodwork; I don't see her again until January.

I don't think it would be out of line for you to ask your doctor if she would be willing to "investigate" any possible disorders that may be contributing to your osteoporosis, before you begin Forteo treatment. I am not clear... were your surgeries due to spinal fractures? (My osteo work-up was initiated because I had suffered several fractures in my early 40's.)

Forteo works best in patients who receive an adequate supply of calcium (either through food, supplements, or both) and vitamin D. You should ask your doctor for specific recommendations about exact amounts.

The black box warning for Forteo is certainly alarming, but I figure that my chances of sustaining a spinal compression fracture and being incapacitated and in severe pain for the rest of my life are greater than those of developing bone cancer. [B]But that is a decision each person has to make for her/himself.[/B]

Many of us on the board have been in your shoes. We know it can be an emotional and confusing time. Good luck to you. :)

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