Calcitonin (Injection)

Introduction

Calcitonin (kal-si-TOE-nin)

Treats bone pain and other symptoms of Paget disease. Also treats high calcium levels in the body (hypercalcemia) and osteoporosis in women who are past menopause.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to calcitonin.

How to Use This Medicine

Injectable

  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin or into one of your muscles.
  • You may be taught how to give your medicine at home. Make sure you understand all instructions before giving yourself an injection. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • You should not use the medicine if it looks discolored or has particles in the liquid. Do not use the medicine if the vial (glass container) appears to be damaged.
  • Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine.
  • You will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given. Use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas.
  • You may need to take calcium and vitamin D supplements every day if you use this medicine for osteoporosis.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • If you store this medicine at home, keep it in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine, containers, and other supplies. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets..
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you use lithium (Eskalith®, Lithobid®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or if you have low calcium levels in your blood (hypocalcemia).
  • Your doctor might give you an allergy skin test to see if you are allergic to calcitonin before you use this medicine.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood or urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, or loss of appetite
  • Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump where the shot was given
  • Skin rash or itching
  • Warmth or redness in your face, neck, arms, hands, or upper chest

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

         
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