Fortical Side Effects
Generic name: calcitonin
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Mar 30, 2021.
Note: This document contains side effect information about calcitonin. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Fortical.
For the Consumer
Applies to calcitonin: injection solution
Other dosage forms:
Side effects requiring immediate medical attention
Along with its needed effects, calcitonin (the active ingredient contained in Fortical) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking calcitonin:
Incidence not known
- Blurred vision
- chills or fever
- difficulty with breathing
- difficulty with swallowing
- frequent urination
- joint pain
- muscle aches and pains
- muscle cramps in the hands, arms, feet, legs, or face
- nausea or vomiting
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
- skin rash or itching
- slow or fast heartbeat
- swelling of the hands, ankles, feet, or lower legs
- tightness in the chest
- tingling of the hands or feet
- trembling or shaking of the legs, arms, hands or feet
- trouble sleeping
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- unusual weight gain or loss
Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention
Some side effects of calcitonin may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.
Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Red streaks on the skin
- swelling, tenderness, or pain at the injection site
- Feeling of warmth
- redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
Incidence not known
- Abdominal or stomach pain
- changes in vision
- pain in the eyes
- poor appetite
- waking to urinate at night
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to calcitonin: injectable solution, nasal spray
The most commonly reported adverse effects with use of the injection are nausea, injection site inflammation, and flushing of face or hands; rhinitis, epistaxis, back pain, arthralgia, and headache have been reported with use of the nasal spray.[Ref]
Very common (10% or more): Nausea (10%)
Common (1% to 10%): Abdominal pain
Frequency not reported: Salty taste, diarrhea
With parenteral use, nausea with or without vomiting appears most frequently upon treatment initiation and tends to decrease or disappear with continued use.
Very common (10% or more): Inflammatory reactions at the site of injection
Frequency not reported: Poor appetite
Postmarketing reports: Hypocalcemia with tetany (muscle cramps, twitching) and seizure activity
Symptoms of nose include: Nasal crusts, dryness, redness or erythema, nasal sores, irritation, itching, thick feeling, soreness, pallor, infection, stenosis, runny/blocked, small wound, bleeding wound, tenderness, uncomfortable feeling, and sore across bridge of nose.[Ref]
Very common (10% or more): Rhinitis (12%), symptoms of nose (11%)
Common (1% to 10%): Epistaxis, sinusitis, upper respiratory tract infection, bronchospasm
Frequency not reported: Pedal edema
Postmarketing reports: Edema (facial, peripheral, and generalized), hypertension, chest pain syncope, vasodilation
Common (1% to 10%): Dizziness, paresthesia
Postmarketing reports: Headache, tremor, seizure, loss of taste/smell
Postmarketing reports: Anti-drug antibodies
For those that antibody studies were done, circulating antibodies to calcitonin were found in about 50% of patients with Paget's disease after 2 to 18 months of treatment. Circulating antibodies have also been reported with use of the nasal spray.
Common (1% to 10%): Flushing of hand or face, erythematous rash
Frequency not reported: Skin rashes and pruritus of ear lobes
Common (1% to 10%): Back pain, arthralgia, arthrosis, myalgia
Postmarketing reports: Musculoskeletal pain[Ref]
Common (1% to 10%): Lymphadenopathy
Common (1% to 10%): Abnormal lacrimation, conjunctivitis
Frequency not reported: Eye pain
Postmarketing reports: Visual disturbance, visual or hearing impairment, tinnitus
Common (1% to 10%): Depression
Frequency not reported: Nocturia
Postmarketing reports: Polyuria
Common (1% to 10%): Malignancy
A meta-analysis of 21 randomized, controlled clinical trials among patients using the nasal spray or an investigational oral formulation found the overall incidence of malignancy in patients receiving this drug was 4.1% (254/6151) compared to 2.9% (137/4732) in placebo. An analyses of just nasal spray trials showed the incidence was similar (4.5% vs 2.3%). Data has shown the increased risk was heavily influenced by a single large 5-year trial. A mechanism for this increased risk has not been identified.
Common (1% to 10%): Influenza-like symptoms
Frequency not reported: Feverish sensation
Postmarketing reports: Fatigue
More about Fortical (calcitonin)
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- En Español
- 2 Reviews
- Drug class: calcitonin
- FDA Approval History
Related treatment guides
1. "Product Information. Miacalcin Nasal Spray (calcitonin nasal)." Novartis Pharmaceuticals, East Hanover, NJ.
2. "Product Information. Miacalcin Injection, Synthetic (calcitonin)." Novartis Pharmaceuticals, East Hanover, NJ.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.