Forteo Makes Me Fat And Sad


I've been on Forteo for almost 2 full months. I have been fighting weight gain and losing the fight. I've done juicing, low carb/high fat, and now I'm doing weight watchers with intermittent fasting. Why does the a Forteo literature tell about weight loss but not weight gain? It is obviously an ongoing problem from what I read from other users. In addition to the weight issues, I get very hot and sweaty for several hours and most nights only sleep a couple of hours. I'm depressed and fatigued like apparently most others on Forteo. I've been trying to snap out of it but thinking about asking for some medication for that too. I'm 58 and a lot of these symptoms are common for menopausal/ post- menopausal women, but it's strange it all seemed to just start now. I have a T score of -4 in the lumbar spine so I think I need to stay on Forteo. I already had a burst fracture of the L4 vertebrae. I did fall but the doctor said my injury was extreme for the fall I had (also broke both arms in that fall). I want to stop sitting and start exercising, cleaning house, doing yard work etc but it's hard when I have no energy and I'm sleep deprived. Anyone else with similar problems so I can tell the doctor it's not just me? BTW my insurance is paying and Forteo program has a discount so I'm only paying $63 a month for the drug and needles. If it was hundreds a month I couldn't be on it.

13 Replies

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You are correct on the weight gain, but it has been investigated by the manufacturer and is now believed to be a possible side effect in some people that take it.

It could be that this just isn't the right medication for you and you may need to try something else. The weight gain coupled with the depression and fatigue just don't sound like a good combination.

Have you tried any of the other medications to help bones, or just this one?

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I have been experiencing very similar side effects - especially the belly fat gain despite doubling my exercise (I am a long distance runner), getting a dog (lots of walking) and other weights/floor exercises. Re terrible sweats and insomnia I've found that taking forteo just before going to bed helped a little. If I take it during the day I get overcome with extreme exhaustion. I've always had very stable weight and I do not take any other drugs and follow a very healthy diet. This is definitely a Forteo side effect re: belly fat.

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My doctor wants me to take Forteo. What I am reading is that one of the side effect is it might raise your calcium levels. Which in turn would make you tired. Have you had your calcium checked lately? That might be your problem.

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I have nearly finished my 2nd pen with no real side effects yet. I was in hospital Jan 2016 with multiple fractures in the spine and was told then that I had osteoporosis with a T-score of -5.6. I am 54 and had no idea. I am very lucky that both the endocrinologist and my GP think outside the box and encouraged me to do lots of research and be very involved in my treatment plan. After a month of researching the different products, I decided to stay away from Osteoclast type medications as they can cause brittle bones & jaw rot etc. Forteo is the only real Osteoblast medication that I found on the net. I am paying around $500 a month. Bones are made up of many different chemicals/minerals, I believe that while on this drug, the body makes bone building it's preference - therefore side effects should be researched to see if there is some common ground. In other words, some side effects may be reduced or eliminated by simply adjusting the diet or supplements. I always discuss my plans with my doctor and I know to report serious side effects immediately. I am very interested in other views as I have really only just started and maybe totally misguided in my way of thinking.

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Hi. I am
So happy I found this blog. I have been looking for some information. I am 22 and have been diagnosed with osteoporosis with a Z score of -4.8. I have been on Fortoe for a year now. My doctor wants me to switch to prolia. Has anyone been on that? What are some side effects?

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If you're paying that much for it, check at Eli Lily for the copay program! My understanding is that, as long as you aren't on government-sponsored insurance (Medicare, etc), you qualify for the copay!! PLEASE check into it!!

By the way, I've been on it about a year now. Gained total of about 25lbs... just what I did NOT need with brittle bones, not to mention having to get new clothes...and I'm one of few females that detests clothes shopping.

Good luck!

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The benefits of Forteo out weigh common side effects, like the pimples in high school, they should dissapear after last dose. My weight gain is astounding, but Sergeon said my 100 year old bones( I'm 57 male 5 compression fractures severe osteo,scoliosis,arthritis, stenosis etc) will be 60 year old bones soon, 50-100 pound weight gain don't care a bit, I will lose it later,thank you E Lilly

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The site wanted an update...
I've managed to lose about 10lb, mostly from trying not to eat after 7p. I do pretty well with few carbohydrates, except when my dentures make my gums sore. At that point, mashed potatoes, etc are my go-to foods until my gums heal.

I am still fortunate that my biggest sude effect is weight gain. I sometimes get aches in my right leg (both femur & the fibula and tibula have been fractured on that leg). I can't pinpoint a reason for that. Some days just below the knee feels "fragile," like (I imagine) very thin fine crystal would feel. Those days, I am careful of the weight and stress I put on that leg (easy to do since I rely on a walker).

I am on pen #23!! Not sure it's doing any good, but can't tell it's doing any harm!! I hope I never become insulin dependent... Having to give myself shots is past "old." My DEXA scan last Fall showed very little improvement. Fingers crossed this Fall will be better!! (Then again, apparently having polio throws a wrench into things.) If I can stay lucky enough to keep walking (even with walker) and driving, I'll remind myself to give thanks instead if gripe!!

Hope your experiences are even better than mine!! At least there are meds that can help many people now!!

Good luck to all!!

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I am on my 3rd Forteo pen. So far I have put on 25+ lbs... I am 59 years old & I'm in the highest risk group for fracture in my hips and back. At this point in time I don't care about the weight gain as I know I'll lose it once I complete my 2 years of Forteo. The alternative would be a broken hip or back. That would be 100 X worse than some silly weight gain by my way of thinking. I would rather have healthy bones - so I exercise to help them strengthen. I hope my osteo resolves eventually.

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I have not taken For two, but I have taken Prolia; and had the same problem. It caused a general inflammation of my body, and weight gain was one of the symptoms.

I am now using natural treatments for increasing bone density.

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I'm a young man of 31 years. Single. Manly and open from Nigeria. I need to know name of drugs that can make someone get fat fast.

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I experience the same problem. I have never striggled with Belly fat until I have started to use Forteo. My doctor just told me it is noncence but I totally disafree with him. I am 56 and never struggled with my weight until I started to use forteo. I also experience depression. Sad that they do not listen to their customers. All I experience they give you a blind eye and make lotsof money with this drug.

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Re: Eli (# 5) Expand Referenced Message

I was on Prolia but didn’t help me so they changed my medicine to Forteo I just started it had no side effects of prolia

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