Calcitonin (Into the nose)


Calcitonin (kal-si-TOE-nin)

Treats osteoporosis in women who are past menopause.

Brand Name(s)

Miacalcin, Fortical

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


  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • This medicine is for use only in the nose. Do not get any of it in your eyes or on your skin. If it does get on these areas, rinse it off right away.
  • This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Before you use a new bottle of medicine, take the bottle out of the refrigerator and let it slowly warm up to room temperature.
  • If you are using the nasal spray for the first time, you will need to prime the spray. To do this, pump or squeeze the bottle until some of the medicine sprays out. Now it is ready to use. Prime the spray after each time you clean the pump, or if you have not used the medicine for 5 days or longer.
  • This medicine is used in only 1 nostril each day. It is best to change which nostril you use each day.
  • Before using the medicine, gently blow your nose to clear the nostrils.
  • After using the nasal spray, wipe the tip of the bottle with a clean tissue and put the cap back on.
  • Each spray bottle contains 30 doses of the medicine. Keep track of the doses you use and throw away any medicine you do not use after 30 doses, even if the bottle is not completely empty.
  • You may also need to take calcium and vitamin D supplements while you use this medicine.

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

  • Store the unopened bottle in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Store the opened bottle in an upright position at room temperature, away from heat and direct light. Throw away any medicine you do not use after 30 days.
  • Keep the bottle tightly closed when you are not using it.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • 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®) or other medicines for osteoporosis (such as etidronate, risedronate, Actonel®, or Didronel®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or if you have Paget disease.
  • Your doctor might give you an allergy skin test to see if you are allergic to calcitonin before you use this medicine.
  • This medicine may cause irritation in the nose that can be painful and serious. Check with your doctor right away if you have sores in your nose, sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, trouble breathing, or heavy nosebleeds.
  • Your doctor will need to check your urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.Your doctor may also want to check your nose before and during treatment with this medicine.

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
  • Heavy or ongoing bleeding from your nose
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Severe sores, crusting, redness, or irritation in your nose

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

  • Light bleeding from your nose
  • Mild itching, dryness, or tenderness in your nose

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

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission ( URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2013 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

This page was last updated: September 18, 2013

Average rating (0)