Calcitonin has been used for the treatment of osteoporosis for the past three decades, based on evidence that parenteral or intranasal calcitonin increases bone mass in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. Efficacy of intranasal calcitonin (200 IU/day) in reducing the risk of new vertebral fractures has been shown in a controlled clinical trial. However, lack of evidence on nonvertebral fractures places calcitonin as a second-line therapy for osteoporosis. Oral calcitonin formulations may be superior to intranasal sprays in improving bone mass, but based on preliminary results from a fracture prevention trial, have failed to not reduce vertebral fracture incidence in postmenopausal women at high risk. Although calcitonin is generally safe and vasomotor adverse events are minimized with oral administration, a review by the European Medicines Agency has disclosed a higher incidence of cancer with long-term use of calcitonin, thus leading to removal of the product from the market.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOsteoporosis
Subtitle of host publicationFourth Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780124158535
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • Calcitonin
  • Osteoporosis
  • PROOF trial


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