Quote from EMS:Is Forteo a stronger treatment than Fosamax? Had you tried the Fosamax first?
Forteo works by growing new bone. Fosamax (and the other bisphosphonates) work by slowing down the process of old bone being removed. At the present time, the clinical studies seem to indicate that the best BMD gains are made by taking Forteo for two years, and then switching to bisphosphonates. But there are potential problems with bisphosphonates; a news article a couple days ago (you can find it on Google News or Yahoo News) was titled "Drugs Intended to Strengthen Bone May Cause Serious Side Effects". That article mentioned:
Bisphosphonate Estimated Half Life
A partial list
Boniva = 4.6-15.3 hrs for IV 2mg after 2 hrs (IV and Oral)
Boniva = 5 - 25.5 hrs for IV 4mg after 2 hrs (IV and Oral)
Bonefos = 13 hrs for IV (IV and Oral)
Aredia = 28 +/- hrs (IV and Oral)
Zometa = 146 hrs (IV)
Actonel = 480 hrs (Oral)
Fosamax = 10 years (Oral)
I think the 10 year half life of Fosamax makes it the least desirable of the bisphosphonates, because it means that if additional side effects from long-term use of Fosamax are discovered, even if you stop using it, it will remain in your body for many years to come.