Osteoporosis Home > Calcitonin

Calcitonin is a prescription medicine that is used for treating several conditions, including high blood calcium, Paget's disease, and osteoporosis. It is a manufactured version of a naturally occurring hormone that helps regulate bone formation and breakdown. The medication comes in nasal spray and injectable form. Potential side effects include runny or stuffy nose, vomiting, and flushing.

What Is Calcitonin?

Calcitonin (Fortical®, Miacalcin®) is a prescription medication used to treat a variety of conditions. Calcitonin salmon nasal spray (Fortical nasal spray, Miacalcin nasal spray) is approved to treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women who are at least five years past menopause. Calcitonin salmon injection (Miacalcin injection) is approved to treat the following conditions:
  • Paget's disease of bone
  • High blood calcium (hypercalcemia)
  • Osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.
(Click What Is Calcitonin Salmon Nasal Spray Used For? or What Is Calcitonin Salmon Injection Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with calcitonin. However, not everyone who takes the drug will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
Common side effects of calcitonin nasal spray include, but are not limited to:
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Other nasal symptoms (such as nasal crusting, dryness, redness, and irritation)
  • Back pain.
Common side effects of calcitonin injection include, but are not limited to:
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Injection site reactions (irritation, pain, or redness at the injection site)
  • Flushing.
(Click Side Effects of Calcitonin Salmon Nasal Spray or Side Effects of Calcitonin Salmon Injection to learn more, including potentially serious side effects that you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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