Calcitonin Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Food Interaction and all others data.

Calcitonin is a polypeptide hormone produced by the ultimobranchial gland in non-mammalian vertebrates or by the mammalian thyroid parafollicular cells. It inhibits osteoclastic bone resorption and reduces bone turnover. It decreases tubular reabsorption and promotes renal excretion of Ca, Cl, Na, Mg, K and phosphate.

Calcitonin inhibits bone resorption by osteoclasts (bone remodeling cells) and promotes bone formation by osteoblasts. This leads to a net increase in bone mass and a reduction in plasma calcium levels. It also promotes the renal excretion of ions such as calcium, phosphate, sodium, magnesium, and potassium by decreasing tubular reabsorption. In consequence, there is an increase in the jejunal secretion of water, sodium, potassium, and chloride.

Trade Name Calcitonin
Generic Salmon Calcitonin
Salmon Calcitonin Other Names Calcitonin (Salmon Synthetic), Calcitonin salmon, Calcitonin salmon recombinant, Calcitonin-salmon, Calcitonin, salmon, Calcitonina salmón sintética, Recombinant salmon calcitonin, Salmon calcitonin
Weight 100iu/ml, 200intlunits/ml, 200intlunits/inh
Type Injection, Injectable Solution, Nasal Spray
Formula C145H240N44O48S2
Weight 3431.853 Da
Protein binding

Protein binding is about 30 to 40%.

Groups Approved, Investigational
Therapeutic Class Hormone in bone formation by Inhibiting bone resorption
Manufacturer City Overseas Ltd
Available Country Bangladesh, United States
Last Updated: September 19, 2023 at 7:00 am


Each ml Calcitonin injection contains-

  • 50 or 100 I.U. salcatonin (present as Polyacetate polyhydrate)
  • Sodium acetate 0.2%
  • Glacial acetic acid 0.2%
  • Sodium chloride 0.75%

Calcitonin contains 32 amino-acids in linear sequence with a disulphide bridge at position 1 and 7 and a molecular weight of 3431.9 (free peptide). Salcatonin is a white or grey-tinged white amorphous powder. It is very soluble in water and very slightly soluble in alcohol.

Calcitonin is used for Active Paget's disease in patients who do not respond to alternative treatments or for whom such treatments are not suitable; Hypercalcaemia.

Naturally-occurring calcitonin is synthesised by parafollicular cells in the thyroid gland of mammals and the ultimobranchial gland of birds and fish. The potency of salmon calcitonin is standardised according to its ability to lower plasma calcium levels of rats as compared to the International Reference standard.

Calcitonin is also used to associated treatment for these conditions: Hypercalcemia, Osteoporosis, Paget’s Disease, Symptomatic Paget's disease

How Calcitonin works

Calcitonin binds to the calcitonin receptor (found primarily in osteoclasts) which then enhances the production of vitamin D producing enzymes (25-hydroxyvitamine D-24-hydroxylase), leading to greater calcium retention and enhanced bone density. Binding of calcitonin to its receptor also activates adenylyl cyclase and the phosphatidyl-inositol-calcium pathway.


Calcitonin dosage

Intravenous (Adult)-

  • Emergency treatment of hypercalcaemia: Up to 10 u/kg in 500 mL of sodium chloride 0.9% by slow IV infusion over at least 6 hr.

Parenteral (Adult)-

  • Adjunct in hypercalcaemia: SC/IM: 4 u/kg 12 hrly, may increase after 1-2 days to 8 u/kg 12 hrly to max 8 u/kg 6 hrly after 2 days. Alternatively, 100 u every 6-8 hr, increased after 1-2 days to max 400 u every 6-8 hr.
  • Paget's disease of bone: SC/IM: 50 u 3 times wkly to 100 u/day.

Nasal (Adult)-

  • Nasal postmenopausal osteoporosis: 200 u/day, alternation nostrils everyday.

Side Effects

GI disturbances, dizziness, flushing, tingling of the hands, unpleasant taste, skin rash, abdominal pain, urinary frequency, tremor, inj site inflammation. Rarely, diabetogenic effect.


Salmon calcitonin was shown to inhibit lactation in animals and is not recommend in nursing mothers. While research in animals have shown a decrease in fetal weight, no studies have yet shown similar results in humans. It is recommended however to proceed carefully when administering salmon calcitonin to pregnant women and consider if the benefits outweigh the risks. Because of its protein nature, salmon calcitonin may provoke an allergy reaction (bronchospams and swelling of the tongue/throat) that can turn into a full-blown anaphylactic response. The manufacturer also reports an increase in the risk of malignancies from oral route (0.7%) to intranasal route (2.4%) compared to placebo. The same may apply to IV, IM and SC routes since the systemic exposure is higher in those cases. Nausea is noticeable in some patients but tends to decrease with continued administration. Rhinitis, headaches and back pain have also been reported among others.


Skin test should be done before initiating therapy. Heart failure; renal impairment. Pregnancy, lactation, childn.


Concurrent use wth cardiac glycosides (e.g. digitalis) or Ca-channel blockers requires dosage adjustments of these drugs. May decrease serum concentration of lithium.

Food Interaction

  • Administer calcium supplement. Individuals who are taking salmon calcitonin for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis should ingest at least 1000mg of elemental calcium daily (by food or through supplementation).
  • Administer vitamin supplements. Individuals who are taking salmon calcitonin for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis should take at least 400 international units of vitamin D daily.

Volume of Distribution

0.15 to 0.3 L/kg

Elimination Route

Salmon calcitonin is rapidly absorbed with bioavailability of 71% following subcutaneous injection and 66% following intramuscular injection in humans. Via the nasal route, the bioavailability varies between 3 to 5% relative to IM.

Half Life

Half-life elimination (terminal): I.M. 58 minutes; SubQ 59 to 64 minutes; Nasal: ~18 to 23 minutes

Elimination Route

Urine. Studies with injectable calcitonin show increases in the excretion of filtered phosphate, calcium, and sodium by decreasing their tubular reabsorption in the kidney.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding use

Pregnancy Category C. Either studies in animals have revealed adverse effects on the foetus (teratogenic or embryocidal or other) and there are no controlled studies in women or studies in women and animals are not available. Drugs should be given only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the foetus.


Hypersensitivity. Patients with hypocalcaemia.

Special Warning

Renal Impairment: Dosage adjustment needed.

Acute Overdose

Symptoms: Flushing, nausea, vomiting and dizziness.

Management: Symptomatic and supportive treatment.

Storage Condition

Store between 2-8° C.

Innovators Monograph

You find simplified version here Calcitonin


What is Calcitonin used for?

Calcitonin used to treat osteoporosis in women who are at least 5 years past menopause and cannot or do not want to take estrogen products.

How safe is Calcitonin?

Calcitonin is reserved for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis in women when other treatments for osteoporosis are ineffective, not tolerated, or not desired.

How does Calcitonin work?

Calcitonin is a human hormone that is also found in salmon. It works by preventing bone breakdown and increasing bone density.

How long does it take Calcitonin to work?

Calcitonin nasal spray is rapidly absorbed with a maximum time to peak effect of 13 minutes. It has a short half-life 18 minutes.

What are the common side effects of Calcitonin?

The common side effects of Calcitonin are include:

  • runny nose.
  • nosebleed.
  • sinus pain.
  • nose symptoms such as crusts, dryness, redness, or swelling.
  • back pain.
  • joint pain.
  • upset stomach.
  • flushing (feeling of warmth)

Is Calcitonin safe during pregnancy?

Calcitonin has not been studied in pregnant women and may not be safe for use during pregnancy. This medication is not approved for women who are premenopausal, including pregnant women.Calcitonin does not cross the placenta and is considered safe for the mother and fetus 2.

Is Calcitonin safe during breastfeeding?

Calcitonin is not known calcitonin whether nasal passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

Can I drink alcohol with Calcitonin?

Intranasal Calcitonin had no affect on alcohol drinking.

How long should I take Calcitonin?

Calcitonin is used as a short-term treatment (for 2–4 weeks) to help prevent bone loss if you're immobilised following an osteoporotic fracture.

How does Calcitonin affect the kidneys?

Calcitonin and phosphorus are prevented from being lost in urine by reabsorption in the kidney tubules. Calcitonin inhibits tubular reabsorption of these two ions, leading to increased rates of their loss in urine.

Does Calcitonin increase bone deposition?

A hormone produced by the thyroid gland that lowers the levels of calcium and phosphate in the blood and promotes the formation of bone.

What happens if you have too much Calcitonin?

If too much Calcitonin is found in the blood, it may be a sign of a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid cancer.

Does Calcitonin help with pain?

Calcitonin has been demonstrated to decrease pain and improve the level of activity in patients with acute vertebral osteoporotic compression fractures when administered within the first 5 days of onset of pain.

Does Calcitonin increase osteoclast activity?

Calcitonin lowers blood calcium levels by suppressing osteoclast activity in the bones and increasing the amount of calcium excreted in the urine.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not use a double dose to make up for a missed one.

Who should not take Calcitonin?

May cause changes in urine in bedridden people. Has not been shown to increase bone mineral density in early postmenopausal women, which is why use is restricted to women who are at least five years postmenopausal. It should never be used in women with reproductive potential.

Is Calcitonin a pain medication?

Calcitonin is considered an effective analgesic in many patients unable of tolerating Calcitonin and narcotics.

Is Calcitonin a steroid?

Calcitonin also called thyrocalcitonin, a protein hormone synthesized and secreted in humans and other mammals primarily by parafollicular cells (C cells) in the thyroid gland.

Does Calcitonin decrease phosphate?

Calcitonin also lowers blood phosphorus levels when they rise above normal.

*** Taking medicines without doctor's advice can cause long-term problems.