Skip to Content
Get facts about myelofibrosis treatment options here

Parathyroid hormone

Generic Name: parathyroid hormone (PAR-a-THYE-roid HOR-mone)
Brand Name: Natpara

Parathyroid hormone has been shown to increase the rate of bone tumors in lab animals. It is not known if there is a higher risk of bone tumors in humans. Parathyroid hormone is only for use in people not controlled on calcium and vitamin D treatment. Parathyroid hormone is also only for use when the benefits are thought to be more than the risks.

Parathyroid hormone should not be used in patients who are at risk for bone tumors, including children and young adults whose bones have not finished growing, and patients with Paget disease, prior radiation involving the skeleton, or unexplained high levels of alkaline phosphatase in their blood.

You can only get parathyroid hormone through the Natpara REMS Program.


Parathyroid hormone is used for:

Controlling low blood calcium levels in people who have low blood parathyroid hormone levels.

Parathyroid hormone is a parathyroid hormone. It works in the kidneys, bowels, and bones to increase calcium levels.

Do NOT use parathyroid hormone if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in parathyroid hormone
  • you are taking alendronate

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using parathyroid hormone:

Some medical conditions may interact with parathyroid hormone. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with parathyroid hormone. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Alendronate because it may decrease parathyroid hormone's effectiveness
  • Digoxin because the risk of its side effects may be increased by parathyroid hormone

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if parathyroid hormone may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use parathyroid hormone:

Use parathyroid hormone as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Parathyroid hormone comes with an extra patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. It also comes with detailed instructions for use. Read them carefully. Read them again each time you get parathyroid hormone refilled.
  • Parathyroid hormone is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using parathyroid hormone at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use parathyroid hormone. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Do not use parathyroid hormone if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the container is cracked or damaged.
  • Parathyroid hormone is to be given as an injection in the thigh. Switch thighs every day.
  • Use the proper technique taught to you by your doctor. Inject deep under the skin, NOT into muscle or a vein.
  • Use parathyroid hormone on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it.
  • Do not share cartridge devices with another person. Sharing these devices may pass infections from one person to another. This includes infections you may not know you have.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of parathyroid hormone, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use parathyroid hormone.

Important safety information:

  • Severe low blood calcium levels have happened with parathyroid hormone. The risk is highest when parathyroid hormone is stopped all of a sudden but can happen at any time. Call your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of low blood calcium levels (eg, change in thinking; cramping of feet or hands; depression; memory problems; seizures; tingling of your lips, tongue, fingers, or feet; twitching of face muscles).
  • Take calcium and vitamin D as you were told by your doctor.
  • Lab tests may be performed while you use parathyroid hormone. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using parathyroid hormone while you are pregnant. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while using parathyroid hormone.

Possible side effects of parathyroid hormone:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Arm or leg pain; diarrhea; headache; joint pain; nausea; neck pain; a new, tender lump; nose or throat irritation; persistent pain in 1 spot; stomach pain; tingling, tickling, or burning feeling of your skin; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); severe or persistent dizziness or headache; symptoms of high blood calcium levels (eg, bone pain, confusion, constipation, severe headache, unusual nausea or vomiting, unusual tiredness or weakness).

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of parathyroid hormone:

Before mixing, store parathyroid hormone in the refrigerator, between 36 and 46 degrees F (2 and 8 degrees C). Store in the original package. After mixing, store the cartridge in the provided pen in the refrigerator, between 36 and 46 degrees F (2 and 8 degrees C). Do not freeze or shake. Do not use parathyroid hormone if it has been frozen or shaken. Protect from heat or light. Throw away the cartridges 14 days after mixing, even if they are not completely empty. Keep parathyroid hormone out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about parathyroid hormone, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Parathyroid hormone is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take parathyroid hormone or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about parathyroid hormone. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to parathyroid hormone. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using parathyroid hormone.

Review Date: November 3, 2016

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Hide