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    Old 01-03-2008, 08:57 AM   #1
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    Really scared-Forteo

    Hi Everyone,
    My doctor wants me to go on Forteo because my back is in such bad shape. I have done some reading on this drug and frankly I am concerned about using it. For one thing, it is a new drug and has really not been tested that well on humans so, according to what I have read, they do not know the long term effects on humans. The other thing is on rats, it causes cancer. I know I have osteo bad, thanks to asthma meds, but I am just not sure of the long term effects.
    I have severe osteo problems due to the long term effects of prednisone. When I was taking it, since the age of 5, now 62, they didn't know the long term effects.
    I would love some insight so please help. Thanks,JacKie

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    Old 01-03-2008, 09:40 AM   #2
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    Re: Really scared-Forteo

    Jackie-Welcome to the Osteo Board! Sorry to hear of your situation. Did you have a dexa done and do you know your numbers? My spine is a -3.4 and taking all things into consideration I decided to take forteo. Some here have had remarkable improvement with forteo , and some not. So far, I do not show any improvement on the dexa. Everyone needs to take their total picture into account, their particular fears and make a decision. There are some on this board with serious dexa numbers who take forteo and some who don't . Have you had a fracture? Forteo is a relatively new drug and that can definitely give a person pause. I wish you the best in making the right decision for you.

    Old 01-03-2008, 09:56 AM   #3
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    Re: Really scared-Forteo

    Hi Singer!

    I have also read that Forteo caused bone cancer in rats BUT these rats were given 3-60 times the dosage than what is given to humans. Plus, these rats are given this for their entire lifetime. Also the cancer in rats developed at the ends of their bones which is where the bones stop growing in lates adolescents with humans.
    As I understand it, we are only given Forteo for a period of 2 yrs because researchers do not believe that 2 years is likely to cause bone cancer in humans.

    Old 01-03-2008, 10:22 AM   #4
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    Re: Really scared-Forteo

    Thanks so much, Osteoplast and Peppur for replying to my thread. I have had dexa scans for the past three years. Last year I was put on Boniva and this year when I got my scan, it showed that I was much worse then the previous two years. I do not know the numbers. Four years ago I fell down the steps and broke my back in two places.
    I guess what I am trying to decide is to take Forteo or just take calcium tablets along with Boniva and Vitamin D.
    Thanks again and Happy New Year. Jackie

    Old 01-03-2008, 06:08 PM   #5
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    Re: Really scared-Forteo

    Hi Jackie and Welcome... Do you know what is wrong with your back? If you dr wants you to go on it they must have a good reason. Remember that Forteo is man made parathyroid hormone, the same hormone our body makes daily to prevent bone loss and regulate calcium and phosphate absorption. So actually it is a natural way to treat your problem.

    Peppur is exactly correct on what was done to the rats in the Lily Trial. No one has contracted osteosarcoma from it yet, but they have to give you all the possibilities when explaining these drugs when they come out. Humans contract osteosarcoma at a 1 in 100,000 rate from other causes than forteo, and the rats they used were predisposed to bone cancer for some reason.

    I've been on Forteo for 19 mos, and I don't have any side effects, except a slightly elevated calcium reading and 1 low vitamin D reading since I started it. If you read the following link it will explain that some people taking Forteo will have these problems with D and calcium, but for me it hasn't been a major problem. If I hadn't had my calcium checked "before" I started Forteo I never would have known it was slightly high, so in my case I had the prob before I started the medication, so I can't blame the initial finding on it.

    I started out at -3.6 took Actonel for 15 mos and then went to -3.4 and then went on Forteo. My last dxa lowest reading (which was my hip) was -2.3 which is considered phenomenal results. I "do" have arthritis, scoliosis, many back surgeries with hardware (rods and screws) ankylosing spondylitis, and all these things can make a dxa look worse than it is. Since my first test was a QCT, they believe it was accurate, because they were able to measure the area above the rods and screws L1-L2 and they also did L3-L5, so all I'm saying is these test aren't fool proof, but it's all we have. If you have any of the probs I have you may have that working against you with an accurate score. An example would be how arthritis will make a score lower than it really is, making the dx look worse.

    I have never regretted one moment on Forteo, but that's me, and we all have to do what's best for ourselves. They also use Forteo after bone/joint surgeries to speed the healing since it's the only drug in the U.S. that actually grows new bone. Do as much reading as you can to empower yourself and then do what you think is best. I do believe the testing done by Lily went overboard to scare some people, imho. Yes it has a black box warning about the rats, but since I'm not a rat I don't think about it to much-no pun intended. Rats can't be compared to humans as well as some would think, but they are the only living thing we can test things on-poor rats Also, Forteo is the bioactive portion of our own parathyroid hormone which is the main mechanism in our bodies that controls bone resorption and bone formation.

    Remember that there are other treatments out there, you don't have to decide on Forteo if you don't want to. In my case I tried other things that didn't work all that well, and I didn't have a lot of time to wait around looking for something else since I had many fx's.

    Since I've had so many years of excruciating pain, with my back, that changed my life considerably, I had no problem deciding to take it since no side effect could be worse than what I've already gone through. I know cancer is scary and I've never had it, but I truly don't believe I'll get it from this drug, maybe from something else like the sun, or estrogen, but what are you gonna do when you run out of options. The reason I gave those two examples on cancer is that I was a true sun worshiper for over 30 years, stupid I know now, and also I'm fibrocystic, and have many family members that had breast and uterine cancer, so the estrogen is a constant concern. But living at an extremely deficient estrogen level was preventing me from sleeping and I have to sleep. Sorry for the length

    Good luck with your decision!!! and welcome aboard

    [url] eosarcoma%22[/url]

    Last edited by DesertBloom; 01-03-2008 at 06:42 PM.

    Old 01-03-2008, 06:51 PM   #6
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    Re: Really scared-Forteo

    Hi Dessertbloom,
    Thank you so much for you post. You have definitely given me something to think about. My next meeting with the doctor is the first week in February. I will definitely keep reading. Presently, I do not have any back pain, thank God, and frankly, when I heard the results of the present dexa scan I was really surprised. Thanks again and I must say I am feeling very welcomed on this board. Jackie

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