GENERIC NAME: calcitonin salmon
BRAND NAME: Miacalcin, Fortical (Calcimar brand no longer available)
DRUG CLASS: Calcitonin salmon is a man-made version of the hormone, calcitonin, that is found in salmon. Calcitonin is used for treating postmenopausal (after menopause) osteoporosis (bone loss), Paget's disease of bone, and hypercalcemia (high blood calcium levels). In humans, calcitonin is produced by the thyroid gland. It acts primarily on bone, but the mechanism of its action is not well understood. Bone is in a constant state of remodeling, whereby old bone is broken-down by cells called osteoclasts, and new bone is laid down by cells called osteoblasts. Calcitonin inhibits bone removal by osteoclasts, and promotes bone formation by osteoblasts.
Paget's disease is a bone disease characterized by a disorderly and accelerated remodeling of the bone, leading to bones that are weak and painful. Calcitonin reduces the turnover of bone and pain in patients with Paget's disease. The FDA approved calcitonin intranasal spray in March, 1991.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
PREPARATIONS: Injection: 200 units/ml. Intranasal spray: 200 units/activation (0.09 ml/puff)
STORAGE: Calcitonin should be stored in a refrigerator between 2-8 C (36-46 F). It should be protected from freezing. Bottles of intranasal spray that are being used may be stored at room temperature between 15 C-30 C (59 F-86 F) for 30 days.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Injectable calcitonin is used to treat osteoporosis and Paget's disease. Injectable calcitonin also is used to treat seriously elevated blood calcium levels. The nasal spray is used only for osteoporosis in women who are at least 5 years postmenopausal.
Quick GuideWhat Is Osteoporosis? Treatment, Symptoms, Medication
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.