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Old 05-23-2007, 05:10 AM   #1
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Yippee! Forteo Finally Approved Now What???

Hi everyone, after several months my insurance company finally approved forteo. Initially they denied it but my doctor fought for me and I received the letter yesterday. Now what? I mean that very sincerely, I almost was getting use to the idea of it being denied, that way I didn't have to deal with what comes next. I didn't want anything to distract me from my yard and garden, starting forteo injections seems to be one heck of a big distraction and monitoring. The thing that most concerns me personally is the monitoring that alot of folks seem to have to do while on there medications. This is a honest fear, I am so afraid I will be monitoring every nook and cranny of my reactions etc. etc. to the forteo, that my summer will be lost in the concern. I am so grateful for the approval of the forteo and do not take it for granted for a moment, however, a part of me still feels I wish I didn't have to do it at all.
Many of my friends have osteoporosis, they seem to be dealing with it without medication whatsoever, they are doing the calcium, vitamin d etc.
I have a question that may seem silly but here it goes, do I while I am on forteo have to monitor my calcium, vitamin d ( large does of vitamins or anything scares me) ? Do I have to concern myself with the multitude of tests many of you talk about to check to see how my bones are doing, etc. etc??? Isn't it up to my doctor to monitor all of this? I am not afraid of doing the injections but I would like to make sure I do them correctly, will I go to a class for this, and are they supportive during the time I will be on the forteo. If for some reason I have side effects which I am not anticipating, do the side effects stop when I discontinue the injections?
I know many of you are probably out in your garden tending to your flowers and I hope all of my questions haven't distracted you from the beauty of the season. heartfelt gratitude for any suggestions blessings wildflowers

 
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Old 05-23-2007, 05:28 AM   #2
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Re: Yippee! Forteo Finally Approved Now What???

I had never given myself or anyone else an injection of any kind, so I was worried about it initially, but the instructor in the training class had those of us who wished to do the first injection right there, so I did. I'll admit there are a lot of steps to preparing the injection that I could do without, but even so, five minutes is about all it takes. Since I had gotten such a dreadful reaction from Actonel, I am thankful to be able to take a drug that bypasses the GI system completely. Also, it doesn't interfere with any other meds, and it only stays in the body a couple hours, during which time it is hopefully building new bone, something the bisphosphonates don't do. You might get leg cramps, but the ones I've gotten aren't bad. It would be nice if we could use a patch or take the Forteo orally rather than the injection, and maybe in the future that will happen. Meanwhile, Forteo doesn't interfere at all with lifestyle except for those few minutes doing the injection. Good luck with it!

 
Old 05-23-2007, 05:53 AM   #3
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Re: Yippee! Forteo Finally Approved Now What???

Thank you shewolf75 My lifestyle change is a very significant part of the concern for me and knowing it only takes about five minutes and I can go on with my day gives me peace, since I have gotten older I want to make every moment count. I know the body has a unique way of adapting no matter what it has to encounter, I just believe right now I have the "something new jitters."and I have to deal with the reality of the situation. I haven't been on any other medication for osteoporosis, this is my first time, when they compared the other meds with household cleaners, that was it for me, I wan't having any of it. When I was on premarin for 25 years and discontinued it (after the cancer and heart scare) I became vulnerable to bone loss. My concern was using something naturally, my doctor suggested forteo, he said that was the most natural way of building bone, that is all I needed to hear and I was sold. Blessings! Wildflowers

 
Old 05-23-2007, 09:10 AM   #4
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Re: Yippee! Forteo Finally Approved Now What???

My Dr. told me that it is very difficult to get my insurance company to approve it, therefore, I would love to know how your Dr. did it!!!
Thx!!

 
Old 05-23-2007, 09:50 AM   #5
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Re: Yippee! Forteo Finally Approved Now What???

Just wanted to add my voice to the others. I have found the injections for the most part painless and had the pre-injection routine down in less than a week. It really becomes a pretty minor event in your life and when you consider what it may give you in return it's not at all bad. Wishing you, and all, good luck!

 
Old 05-23-2007, 10:49 AM   #6
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Re: Yippee! Forteo Finally Approved Now What???

wildflowers,
I'm sure you will do fine with the Forteo. I have just finished the two years and had no problems with it at all. Initially, I was a basket case at the thought of giving myself an injection, but it really isn't that bad. After a few times, it was a piece of cake. The needles are so small that you hardly feel it. I did take calcium supplements and still do and try to get as much exercise as I can. The only testing I had done while on Forteo was the full battery of tests at my annual physical and the annual dexa. I know that others have posted that they have had other tests done and I guess it probably depends on the doctor and if you have any other health issues that would necessitate additional tests. At any rate, taking Forteo did not have a great impact on my lifestyle. It was just something I did every day and then didn't worry about. Best of luck to you and happy gardening!

 
Old 05-23-2007, 01:05 PM   #7
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Re: Yippee! Forteo Finally Approved Now What???

Hi Wildflowers I've been wondering what happened with your insurance. I'm really glad you finally got it approved, and am sure you'll have no trouble with the injection.

As I've mentioned before, the injection hasn't caused me any side effects and is really easy to do. I did gain some weight, but I can't say it's from the Forteo. My husband put this into perspective when he told me if the weight gain is from this, what a small price that would be to pay considering the multitudes of benefits.

I honestly don't even think about it anymore (injection) it's just part of my routine, and I agree it doesn't take more than 5 minutes to do.

As far as blood tests go, you shouldn't have to do anything more than what you're already doing. When you have a basic metabolic panel, they check your calcium levels, so you'll know if that becomes an issue. Most of us that are having tests done, is because we have other medical issues that warrant it, like low d, high ca etc, so they will do additional tests if any of your normally scheduled tests come back low or elevated.

You or the Dr may want to do a bone marker test at some point to see if the Forteo is working, but that's up to you, or you can wait for your next dexa.

Good Luck, I hope it works well, and I am looking forward to telling all of us how simple and unobtrusive it is.

 
Old 05-23-2007, 02:13 PM   #8
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Re: Yippee! Forteo Finally Approved Now What???

Hi thank you for your combacks deeply appreciated. I have a apt with my doctor the first of june and I will ask him what was the deciding factor that took me from being denied to being approved. When I was first denied I figured because I didn't have any risk factors that included family members who had osteoporosis, fractures, etc. that it was a lost cause, to get the letter of approval was quite a shock. I can also call the special pharmacy from my insurance company and ask them what was the deciding factor, it's very important to know what maybe can be done to change one's position regarding getting the forteo. I will go both routes and post it when I find out. I am more confident after hearing from you that I will be able to adjust quickly to the injection routine and for that I will be grateful. Blessings! Wildflowers

 
Old 05-23-2007, 08:29 PM   #9
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Re: Yippee! Forteo Finally Approved Now What???

Congratulations on insurance approval. The more patients who are approved the more the insurance company will stop denying patients, hopefully. The nurse at my doctor's office showed me how to do the injection and I tried my first one there then I was on my own. The instructions with the pens are easy to understand if you forget. Using Forteo didn't mess up my lifestyle at all, I just took the pen with me when I went on trips.

 
Old 05-24-2007, 04:41 AM   #10
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Re: Yippee! Forteo Finally Approved Now What???

thanks so much for being the wind beneath my wings The first thing that came to my mind when I was approved for forteo was to share it with all of you, then, when all the concerns creeped in, the first thing that came to my mind was my friends on health boards would help me. Since I have been diagnosed with severe osteoporosis I felt like a little dinghy boat on the sea of the "unknown" then all of you came along like a coast guard cutter and rescued me, and lifted me up. Through all your kind words, the word osteoporosis fits into my vocabulary much easier now. Acceptance brings peace, however, it's the friends that walk with you on the journey to acceptance that makes all the difference. I feel very blessed, so thank you, the forteo hopefully will give me added years to work in my garden with my flowers, birds and butterflies. All of you are the best!!!! Blessings! Wildflowers

 
Old 05-24-2007, 11:04 AM   #11
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Re: Yippee! Forteo Finally Approved Now What???

Thank you for being kind enough to find out...it will help all of us when the battle with the insurance companies happen!

 
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