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Osteoporosis Message Board

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Good Afternoon:

I was recently diagnosed with osteoporosis - although, frankly I'm a little leery of the diagnosis.

I tripped and dislocated and broke my right shoulder in 2005 (and tore my rotator cuff). On New Years Eve 2007, I bent down to wipe up a spill in front of my sink, slipped and broke my left shoulder (compression facture). The fall irritated my back - 3 lower disks are bulged, scarred, and dessicated. (In addition I have degenerative disks in my neck). I saw a doc for my back and asked if I was a candidate for a DEXA scan. He recommended I do so.

Quick family history - my tiny mom had osteoporosis, but was a heavy smoker. My itty-bitty sister has osteoporosis but also has Graves disease and (despite knowing better) is a smoker. History of very fragile bones as well. I'm 49, premenopausal, diagnosed a number of years ago with fibromyalgia, former smoker, and a "bit" heavier.

My T- and Z-scores are normal. My Vitamin D (range of 35 - 100) was 10.2. The NTx (5 - 65) was 173 - but expected due to the 2-1/2 month old fracture. The doctor diagnosed clinical osteoporosis and started me on the 2 year regimen of Forteo; once a week, 3 months of 50,000 IUs Vitamin D (with blood test in 3 months); and 1200 mg of calcium daily.

With only a month of Forteo under my belt, I've had really no problems with the injections - other than a few bruises - although I almost immediately developed a belly; have since switched to thigh. I have however developed SERIOUS fatigue and aches. It's as though my fibro is flaring. I'm napping for hours every day and slept until 11:30 am on Saturday - and then took a 4 hour "nap" at 4:00. I'm also extremely weak. Today I woke up with a ferocious sore throat. No fever, no post-nasal drip, have gargled, taken a Claritin in case it's springtime related - no let up in pain. So bad, I opted not to go to work.

Not only am I concerned that the Forteo may be causing these symptoms I'm not entirely certain I'm a candidate.

Have many of you using Forteo had similar problems? Do they lessen or abate? I can't imagine (nor do I think I could make it) feeling this bad for the length of the treatment.

I apologize for the lengthy post. I hope to hear some good advice.



Thank you so much for your thoughtful and quick response. Sometimes it seems that we "laypeople" can often help each other more than some of those in the medical profession.

My first post was, I realize now, confusing in its syntax (and punctuation). I'm injecting the Forteo daily - I'm taking the Vitamin D once a week.

My lumbar disks apparently have no compression fractures (but OHHH when they are "acting up" and pressing on the nerves....). I sincerely believe the doc is reacting most to the 2 low-impact fractures and my familial history. The findings from the contrast MRI I had to diagnose the latest fracture actually suprised my orthopaedic surgeon as he thought it was a torn cuff. When we looked at the films, he pointed out the break and then the showed me where (as he put it) my bone was "lit up like a Christmas tree."

I have read that side effects are fatigue, muscle weakness, and headaches. However, when one is wiped out by "fatigue" it doesn't seem so trivial. Indeed, one of the side effects is "sore throat." I'm curious if this means on occasion, constantly, or will pass. If my throat is still as bad tomorrow, I'm going to the GP for him check for strep - to which at the ripe ol' age of 49 I'm STILL very prone. (Hmmm - I've also had mono 3 separate times in 3 decades.)

My insurance co-pay for the Forteo is $40 (I know I'm fortunate). However, if the current trouble outweighs possible future benefits, then I'll have to stop. I don't like taking meds and as I don't seem to be clearly osteoporotic, I'll have to make a decision.

Thank you again for your insight. I hope I make the right decision.


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