Abaloparatide is an injectable medication that is designed to treat osteoporosis. It can help keep bones from weakening any further, reducing your risk of fractures as you age. If your doctor has recommended abaloparatide injections for you, then you may have some of the following questions as your appointment approaches.
What does the injection actually contain?
The active ingredient in these injections is a synthetic form of parathyroid hormone. Your body produces its own parathyroid hormone in the parathyroid glands, which are located on the front of the thyroid gland in your throat. Parathyroid hormone plays an important role in calcium balance in the body. Specifically, it triggers the bones to take up calcium from the blood. The synthetic parathyroid hormone in abaloparatide has the same action. It stops your bones from leeching calcium into the blood, which keeps your bones stronger over time.
Who will administer the injections?
Unlike some other osteoporosis drugs, which are injected once a month or every few months in the doctor's office, this drug can be injected at home. At your first appointment, your doctor will teach you how to inject the drug. It's not as hard as it may seem since the medication only needs to be injected under the skin on your abdomen, not into a muscle or vein. Once you're shown how to give the injection, you'll be sent home with enough medication for 30 days or so. All of the medication will be loaded into one injection pen. You'll use the same pen to inject yourself each day. When the pen is empty, you'll pick up a new one from your local pharmacy.
Are there any safety concerns associated with abaloparatide injections?
This medication is only safe for women who have already gone through menopause. If you have gone through menopause, it is indeed very safe. The most common side effects are red, tender, and bruised skin near the injection site. You can minimize these effects by injecting in a slightly different spot each time. In rarer cases, patients may feel tired and dizzy after these injections. Tell your doctor if you experience this symptom. Sometimes it may just take your body a few days to get used the medication, and other times, you may need to switch to a lower dose of abaloparatide or a different osteoporosis medication.
If you have any remaining questions about abaloparatide injections to treat osteoporosis, do not hesitate to ask a doctor. They know this medication well and should be able to address any concerns.