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How effective is parathyroid hormone in treating osteoporosis?

David Slovik, MD
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism
Unlike osteoporosis medications that slow the rate of bone loss, parathyroid hormone (PTH) actually helps build new bone and is thus considered an anabolic agent. It does this by increasing the activity and number of bone-building osteoblasts. As a result, it can increase bone mass dramatically. One study found that teriparatide (Forteo), a synthetic version of PTH, was more effective than alendronate in increasing bone mineral density and decreasing fractures in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. Teriparatide appears to reduce vertebral fractures by 65% to 70% and to reduce nonvertebral fractures by about 50%.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.