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Calcitonin

INFORMATION

Uses

Calcitonin is used in the treatment of post menopausal osteoporosis (porous bones) and increased calcium levels in blood due to cancer.

How it works

Calcitonin is a hormone that occurs naturally in our body, secreted by the thyroid gland. Its function is to regulate calcium metabolism by controlling intestinal absorption, exchange with bone, and excretion by kidneys, of calcium. Calcitonin is synthetic in nature and acts mainly by reducing the levels of calcium in the blood, as it increases deposition of calcium and phosphate in the bone. It is also helpful to reverse bone loss and may help in bone formation.

Common side effects

Nausea, Frequent urge to urinate, Rash, Hormone imbalance, Allergic reaction, Slow growth in children and teenagers, Muscle pain, Bone pain, Joint pain, Cancer, Chest tightness, Dizziness, Altered taste, Shortness of breath, Neck redness, Face redness, Headache, Decreased calcium level in blood, Increased blood pressure, Influenza like symptoms, Injection site redness, Injection site swelling, Itching, Stomach pain, Sudden decrease in blood pressure, Tongue swelling, Throat swelling, Visual impairment, Fatigue

AVAILABLE MEDICINE

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Expert advice

  • Do not take calcitonin if you are allergic (hypersensitive) to calcitonin or to any of the other ingredients of this medicines.
  • Avoid using calcitonin in condition such as low levels of calcium in blood (hypocalcemia).
  • Calcitonin is not recommended in children under 18 years of age. 
  • Do not drive or use any tools or machines, if you feel dizzy, tired, have a headache or get disturbed vision after taking calcitonin.
  • Long term treatment with calcitonin for osteoporosis and osteoarthritis have shown an increase in the risk of cancer in clinical trials.
  • Calcitonin is recommended to be taken at bedtime to reduce the side effects like urge to vomit (nausea) and vomiting that are generally experienced at the beginning of the treatment.

Frequently asked questions

Calcitonin

Q.Is calcitonin a steroid hormone/ peptide hormone/ bisphosphonate/ thyroid hormone?
Calcitonin is not a steroid hormone/ peptide hormone/ bisphosphonate. However, calcitonin occurs naturally in the body. It is also available as a man-made polypeptide hormone

Q.Is calcitonin lipid soluble/ hydrophilic/ water soluble?
Calcitonin is a hydrophilic, water soluble hormone

Q.Is calcitonin effective for osteoporosis?
Calcitonin is a naturally occurring thyroid hormone which is used to prevent and to treat thinning and weakening of the bone (osteoporosis) in post-menopausal women

Q.Does calcitonin stimulate osteoclasts?
Osteoclast is a type of bone cell which carry out dissolution and absorption of bone. Calcitonin is a naturally occurring hormone secreted by thyroid gland in the body, which stops the activity of osteoclasts, thereby stops bone removal by the osteoclasts

Q.Does calcitonin stimulate/ inhibit osteoblast activity/ stimulate bone growth?
Osteoblast is a type of bone cell which carry out bone formation. Whether calcitonin stimulates or promotes the bone formation or resorption by the osteoblasts is uncertain

Q.Does calcitonin cause cancer?
Long term treatment with calcitonin for osteoporosis and osteoarthritis has shown an increase in the risk of cancer in clinical trials

Q.Does calcitonin increases calcium levels?
Calcitonin does not increase calcium levels. It is a naturally occurring hormone secreted by the thyroid gland in the body, which is used to reduce high calcium levels in the blood (hypercalcemia) due to cancer

Q.Does calcitonin decreases phosphate?
Yes, calcitonin decreases phosphate resorption by direct action on the kidney.


Content on this page was last updated on 28 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)