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Home > Health & Fitness > Healthwise > Calcitonin for Paget's Disease of Bone
Calcitonin is available for injection either under the skin
(subcutaneous, or subQ, injection) or into the muscle (intramuscular, or IM,
injection). Miacalcin is available in a nasal spray, but it is not approved by
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of Paget's
Calcitonin is a naturally occurring hormone. It helps regulate
calcium levels in your body and is involved in the
process of bone building. It slows the rate
of bone thinning.
People use calcitonin to control symptoms of Paget's disease and to
slow the process of bone tissue breaking down and rebuilding too quickly.
Doctors also may prescribe it to help prevent
complications in people who have Paget's disease but do
not yet have symptoms.
Calcitonin helps manage bone pain. The benefits may take a few weeks to notice, and they often go away within a few months after you stop taking the medicine.1
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have:
Call your doctor if you have:
Common side effects of injected calcitonin include:
Common side effects of nasal calcitonin include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference
is not available in all systems.)
You must take the injection form of calcitonin daily or at least
several times a week. You or a family member can usually learn how to give the
shot properly. It is important not to give the shot in a certain place one day and then in the same place the next time. Changing the places where you give the shots prevents damage to muscle
It may take a few weeks before pain relief is noticed. Not all
people who take calcitonin get relief from their pain.
Some people develop a resistance to calcitonin. The medicine then
stops working, and the disease becomes
The effects of calcitonin go away within a few months after you
stop taking the medicine.
Miacalcin is available in a nasal spray. But this form has not been
approved for Paget's disease.
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
Women who use this medicine during pregnancy have a slightly higher chance of having a baby with birth defects. If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, you and your doctor must weigh the risks of using this medicine against the risks of not treating your condition.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
Shoback D, et al. (2011). Metabolic bone disease. In DG Gardner, D Shoback, eds., Greenspan's Basic and Clinical Endocrinology, 9th ed., pp. 227–284. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Current as of:
August 30, 2013
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Jennifer Hone, MD - Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
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