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Osteoporosis Message Board


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[QUOTE=Foxbluff]Just found out I have osteoporosis. GP recommends Forteo. If the idea of giving myself a shot everyday isn't bad enough (and it's bad), the price is outrageous! Doc says it's the only treatment that actually builds bone, so it's the right one to do.

I've been reading and reading info on the diff drug treatments, but no where can a find actual results. I need to know what percentage of bone is regained via the different treatments after a yr or so of use.

I am really dragging my feet on making a choice here and would appreciate any help you can give me.[/QUOTE]

No one can predict how much bone you will or will not increase with any of these medications. It is all very much an individual thing. Your doctor is correct that Forteo is the only currently approved medication that is proven to increase bone. HOWEVER, the bisphosphonates such as Actonel and Fosamax in some people can slow bone "death" so that the natural bone "growth" can exceed the natural bone "death" and thus those people can achieve increased bone density/strength. No matter which med you decide upon calcium w/vitamin D supplementation is needed and weighted exercise is important as well.

Take into account your osteoporosis risk factors are, the degree or severity of your current osteoporosis, your other health factors and ability to take the required supplements and do the necessary activities/exercise you need to do whilst making your decision.

As to the daily self-injections: I doubt many people are greater "needle-phobes" than I was. As a child it took 3 persons to hold me down to give my my innoculations, I bit, kicked, screamed and fought them tooth and nail. I actually bit a dentist's finger to the bone in panic when he tried to numb my gums for a dental procedure. As an adult our famliy doctor had to hide the needles from me when he brought them in the exam room to give our children their innoculations and tell me when to turn my head so I didn't see it or I upchucked all over the exam room. I'm now 63 years old. It took my family doctor and his nurse TWO YEARS to convince me to even try giving my own vitamin B12 injections!!! The first time I tried in his office I pulled the needle out in a "knee jerk" reaction before I could even begin to push the plunger to release the B12. I had to "re-stick" myself! You know what tho? I managed to do it and it wasn't so bad at all. Fortunately, I had been giving myself the B12 injections weekly for several months before it was decided to start me on Forteo. The thought of actually injecting myself in the abdomen absolutely blew my mind! However, knowing I had to give the B12 once a week in the thigh and that the Forteo would be a daily injection I was concerned about "running out of places" to give myself an injection! So - I insisted that when I went to my Endo's office to learn how to give myself the Forteo injection that I be taught to do it in my abdomen AND that that WAS the way I would do my first Forteo injection there in the office. I was nervous, shakey and somewhat nauseated - but - I managed to do it!!! And it was a piece of cake!!!

Take a GOOD look at the needle that comes with the sample pack. See how short and fine it is. Its not so scarey as what we think of as a syringe and needle for giving injections in the hospital, etc. nor for blood draws or IVs.

One word of caution tho: if you decide to go with the Forteo, when you go in to pick up your first script double check the needles they sell you for the injections. I was given 5/16" long, I forget which guage needles. The needles that come with the sample pack are 3/16", 31 guage. These needles are like 3-4 x the price of the 5/16", somewhat larger guage needles my pharmacist first tried to sell me but at the time I didn't care about price, if I was going to be injecting myself in the abdomen I wanted the smallest guage, shortest needle recommended!!! Now I have both size needles. I use the 5/16" needles for my thighs and save the 3/16" for my abdomen. I rotate 4 sites on my abdomen and each thigh thru the week. I've never bruised (and I am on warfarin [Coumadin], a blood thinner for a deep vein blood clot) nor have I ever had more than a pin point of blood at any injection site. Usually, I can't even see where I gave my injection once I pull the needle out.

Good luck and God bless, whatever method you decide to use to correct your osteoporosis.
[QUOTE=CrohnieToo]You are more than welcome! I new to this osteoporosis treating myself and it took me awhile to accept and decide what course of action to take. You are going to find this forum a wealth of information and support![/QUOTE]
Ohhhh, you are SO right abt this forum! It's so much easier for me to understand what "real takers" of Forteo, etc. are telling me and it's good therapy, too, to know that I'm not the only one that had trouble making a decision!

Thanks so much for giving that tip abt the different size needles. That's one example of useful info that I would never have read elsewhere.

You said that giving the injection to yourself in the abdomen turned out to be "a piece of cake". I don't doubt your honesty but that's hard to believe! The thought of giving a shot to myself in the abdomen actually makes me feel queasy. I really don't know how you're doing that. BTW, wouldn't it be better to take the daily shot in the thigh and do the weekly one in the abdomen? (That's probably a dumb question...) Maybe the needle for the B12 is longer/larger?
[QUOTE=Foxbluff]You said that giving the injection to yourself in the abdomen turned out to be "a piece of cake". I don't doubt your honesty but that's hard to believe! The thought of giving a shot to myself in the abdomen actually makes me feel queasy. I really don't know how you're doing that. BTW, wouldn't it be better to take the daily shot in the thigh and do the weekly one in the abdomen? (That's probably a dumb question...) Maybe the needle for the B12 is longer/larger?[/QUOTE]


I initially could not believe I'd use my abdomen. I gave myself the shots in the thigh. After reading from several posters here that they thought the abdomen was less painful, I tried it. They were right. More fat there for me so the subcutaneous shot doesn't hit muscle as much as it did in my thigh - not that I don't have any fat in the thigh, but it does seem almost painless in the abdomen unless I just hit a bad spot and then it hurts a bit.

I don't think I could deal with the 5/16 needle and I hope I never have to try. I haven't gotten over my sissyhood all that much!





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