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%.

Continue Learning about Osteoporosis Treatment

What Is the Effect of the Ornish Diet on Osteoporosis?
What Is the Effect of the Ornish Diet on Osteoporosis?
If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, you know the weakening of bones increases the likelihood of getting a fracture. In the United States, mo...
Read More
Can I get rid of osteoporosis with changes to my diet?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
No, but once you have a diagnosis of osteoporosis you can slow down further loss of bone by foll...
More Answers
What should I know about taking biphosphonates for osteoporosis?
Debra Fulghum Bruce PhDDebra Fulghum Bruce PhD
Biophosphenates such as Fosamax are not absorbed easily. A 10-mg tablet of Fosamax should be tak...
More Answers
Treadmill Talks: FDA Releases Health Warnings on Osteoporosis Medications
Treadmill Talks: FDA Releases Health Warnings on Osteoporosis Medications

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.