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Faqs About Being Prescribed Abaloparatide

by Ellen Lucas

Osteoporosis treatment has come a long way over the past few years. No longer do you need to go to a doctor's office once a month for injections. A medication called abaloparatide is available for at-home use. You pick the medication up at your local pharmacy, and you can inject yourself once a day. Patients generally respond really well to abaloparatide, but if you have just been prescribed this drug, you might have a few questions you'd like answered.

How does it work?

Sometimes people assume abaloparatide is just a fancy supplement to keep their bones strong. But it's a bit more complicated than that. This medication is actually a synthetic form of a hormone called parathyroid hormone, which your own body produces in the parathyroid glands. Parathyroid hormones encourage your body to take calcium up into the bone tissue. Your levels of this hormone decrease with age, which plays a role in the development of osteoporosis. So, injecting synthetic parathyroid hormone in the form of abaloparatide causes your body to start taking calcium into the bones again. This keeps your bones stronger as you age, combating osteoporosis or preventing it from worsening.

How do you inject the medication?

Abaloparatide is actually a subcutaneous injection, which means you inject it just below the skin. You'll barely insert the needle into your skin. It will be a short needle, so there's little risk of pushing it in too far. Most patients inject themselves in the abdominal area near the belly button. 

Abaloparatide usually comes in a specialized, pen-style device that contains 30 doses. So, you'll use the same applicator 30 days in a row before exchanging it out for a new one.

Your doctor or pharmacist should show you exactly how to inject abaloparatide before sending you home with the medication.

Are there any side effects to worry about?

Side effects are rare, and the most common ones are dizziness, headache, and tiredness after the injection. Often, these go away within an hour or so, and they become less pronounced as your body adapts to the abaloparatide. Still, tell your doctor if you do develop any of these side effects so they can determine if abaloparatide is still a safe choice for you.

With these questions answered, you should be better prepared to begin using abaloparatide. It's a really helpful drug for many people. Contact a service that offers abaloparatide injection to treat osteoporosis for more information.