The reference site for Calcitonin

Calcitonin can be used therapeutically for the treatment of hypercalcemia or osteoporosis.

WHAT IS CALCITONIN?

Calcitonin is a hormone used to treat symptoms of Paget’s disease of the bone, hypercalcemia (high levels of calcium in the blood) and postmenopausal osteoporosis (bone weakening). This medicine is often ordered for cancer patients experiencing bone pain due to metastasis.

This medication reduces the breakdown of bone. It causes less bone tissue to be reabsorbed, and slows the rate of bone destruction and decreases the amount of calcium released into the blood.

It is sold under the brand name Calcimar® in the United States.

 

Name: MIACALCIN®
Strength(s): 200 UNIT/M
Imprint: MIACALCIN
Manufacturer: NOVARTIS

 

Product Info

The sections below will provide you with more specific information and guidelines related to calcitonin and its correct use. Please read them carefully.

FDA Information

FDA approved the first drug based on salmon calcitonin, Calcimar®, an injectable form marketed by Rhone-Poulenc Rorer in 1975.

Since then, two drugs made by Novartis and marketed under the trade name Miacalcin® – one injectable form and one administered through a nasal spray – were approved. An oral version of salmon calcitonin is nowadays also available.

Salmon calcitonin is approved only for postmenopausal women who cannot tolerate estrogen, or for whom estrogen is not an option

Why is this medication prescribed?

Calcitonin is a hormone used to treat symptoms of Paget’s disease of the bone, hypercalcemia (high levels of calcium in the blood) and postmenopausal osteoporosis (bone weakening). This medicine is often ordered for cancer patients experiencing bone pain due to metastasis.

This medication works by reducing the breakdown of bones. It causes less bone tissue to be reabsorbed, slowing the rate of bone destruction and decreases the amount of calcium released into the blood.

It is sold under the brand name Calcimar® in the United States.

Other uses for this medicine

Calcitonin salmon injection is also used sometimes to treat osteogenesis imperfecta.

However, it is important that you talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your particular condition.

Dosage and using this medicine

Calcitonin injection:

The injection form is given subcutaneously (a shot just below the skin layer) or intramuscularly (a shot into the muscle). Your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist will show you how to administer the medication. Follow all directions carefully.

Throw away all empty syringes and vials as directed by your health care provider.

To avoid allergic reactions (especially if you have a history of protein allergies), your doctor may start with skin testing – a small test dose of calcitonin salmon is injected to check for a reaction.

The dose usually is one shot once or twice a day, but some patients may require less frequent dosing. To help avoid side effects, your doctor may increase your dose gradually over a couple of weeks.

Use calcitonin salmon injection exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

When used to manage Paget’s disease or osteoporosis, it is important to note that calcitonin salmon helps to treat symptoms but does not cure the disease.

The length of your treatment depends on your response to the medication. Generally, treatment continues as long as your symptoms improve. Do not stop using calcitonin salmon injection without talking to your doctor.

Calcitonin nasal spray:

This medication is for use in the nose as directed, usually one spray in one nostril each day alternating nostrils daily.

Do not use this more often or continue using this for longer than prescribed.

The first time the nasal spray is used the pump must be properly activated (primed). Learn the proper procedures and always consult your pharmacist and the product instruction sheet for details.

Once the pump is activated, it does not have to be reactivated before each daily dose.

To use the nasal spray, first gently blow your nose to clear the nasal passages.

With your head upright, insert the tip of the nasal spray into a nostril.

Pull the two white side holders toward the bottle to release the drug into the nose.

Gently breathe in through the nostril then out through the mouth.

Use the other nostril the next day.

It is important to maintain an adequate diet rich in calcium and vitamin D while taking this medication.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking Calcitonin:

Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to calcitonin or any other drugs, salmon or proteins.

Please inform your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and non-prescription medications you are taking, including vitamins.

Tell your doctor if you have any nasal or sinus problems such as nasal deformities, a chronic infection, or nasal pain.

Calcitonin nasal is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether calcitonin will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.

It is also not known whether calcitonin passes into breast milk. Do not use calcitonin nasal without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

For calcitonin injection:

Do not administer a double dose to make up for a missed one. Use the following dosage schedule guidelines:

If your usual dose is two doses per day, use the missed dose if you remember it within 2 hours of your regularly scheduled dose. Otherwise, skip the missed dose and then continue on the regular dosing schedule.

If your usual dose is one dose per day, use the missed dose if you remember it during the same day. Otherwise, skip the missed dose and continue the regular dosing schedule the next day.

If your usual dose is every other day, use the missed dose as soon as you remember it, either on the regularly scheduled day or the next day. Then, continue a regular dosing schedule of every other day from that point.

If your usual dose is three times a week, administer the missed dose on the next day and continue every other day thereafter. Resume the regular dosing schedule at the beginning of the next week.

For calcitonin nasal spray:

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule.

Never take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Possible side effects from calcitonin include:

Injection
flushing of face, hands, and/or feet after injection
tingling in hands and/or feet after injection

Nasal spray
runny nose
sneezing
nasal irritation

Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

Injection
upset stomach
vomiting
redness, swelling, or irritation at the site of injection
flushing (feeling of warmth) of the face or hands
increased urination at night
itching of the ear lobes
feverish feeling
eye pain
decreased appetite
swelling of the feet
salty taste

Nasal spray
runny nose
bleeding nose
nasal crusts
dry or red nose
itching

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

Injection
difficulty breathing
swelling of the face, eyes, lips, tongue, or throat
skin rash or hives
chest pain or pressure
redness, tenderness, swelling, or warmth at the injection site

Nasal spray
an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives)
severe nasal irritation

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?

For calcitonin injection:

Store calcitonin salmon injection in its original container in the refrigerator. Do not freeze this medicine or shake the vials. Let the solution warm to room temperature before administration. Do not use calcitonin salmon injection if it has been out of the refrigerator for more than 24 hours. Keep all supplies in a clean, dry place and out of reach of children.

For calcitonin nasal spray:

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store unopened calcitonin salmon nasal spray in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Store opened bottles at room temperature in an upright position. Replace the plastic cover to keep the nozzle clean. Opened calcitonin salmon stored at room temperature should be thrown away after 30 days. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of an emergency/overdose

In the case of an overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

For injection:
upset stomach
vomiting

For nasal spray:
rash and itching
swelling
severe dizziness
trouble breathing

Product Images

Pictures of Calcitonin products

Below you will find images and specific information on the principal types of calcitonin that exist, including their respective brand name(s), strength, inscription codes, manufacturers and/or distributors.

The information below includes general information and guidelines for patients taking this medication and should never be used to substitute professional medical advice that can be provided by a qualified physician or family doctor.

Name: MIACALCIN®

Strength(s): 200 UNIT/M

Imprint: MIACALCIN

Manufacturer: NOVARTIS

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