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Calcitonin injection

Generic Name: calcitonin injection (KAL si TOE nin)
Brand Name: Miacalcin

Medically reviewed on March 22, 2018

What is calcitonin injection?

Calcitonin is a man-made form of a hormone that occurs naturally in the thyroid gland.

Calcitonin injection is used to treat Paget's disease of bone, or high levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia). Calcitonin injection is also used to treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.

Calcitonin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use calcitonin injection if you are allergic to salmon calcitonin.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Using calcitonin may increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer. Ask your doctor about your specific risk.

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.

It may not be safe to breast-feed a baby while you are using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risks.

How should I use calcitonin injection?

To make sure you are not allergic to calcitonin, your doctor may perform an allergy skin test before your first dose.

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Calcitonin is injected into a muscle or under the skin. A healthcare provider may teach you how to properly use the medication by yourself.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Do not use calcitonin if you don't understand all instructions for proper use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions.

Prepare your injection only when you are ready to give it. Do not use if the medicine looks cloudy, has changed colors, or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.

Calcitonin injection is not a cure for Paget's disease. You may have a relapse, especially if your body forms antibodies and you become immune to calcitonin.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.

Calcitonin may be only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet changes, exercise, taking vitamin or mineral supplements, and changing certain behaviors. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely.

Store in the refrigerator, do not freeze.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.

Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while using calcitonin injection?

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how calcitonin injection will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.

If you have osteoporosis, avoid smoking, or try to quit. Smoking can reduce your bone mineral density, making fractures more likely.

Calcitonin injection side effects

You may have increased bone pain during the first few months of treatment with calcitonin injection. This is not a sign that the medication isn't working properly.

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out; or

  • low calcium levels--muscle spasms or contractions, numbness or tingly feeling (around your mouth, or in your fingers and toes).

Common side effects may include:

  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);

  • nausea, vomiting; or

  • swelling where the injection was given.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect calcitonin injection?

Other drugs may affect calcitonin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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