This medication is used to treat certain bone problems (e.g., Paget's disease, postmenopausal osteoporosis) and to reduce high blood levels of calcium. Calcitonin is a man-made hormone that works by slowing bone loss and maintaining normal calcium levels in the blood. It may also help to reduce bone pain in people who have Paget's disease.
This medication is given by injection under the skin or into a muscle. For the treatment of high calcium, you will usually use this medication every 12 hours. For the treatment of osteoporosis, you will usually use this medication every other day. For the treatment of Paget's disease, you will usually use this medication daily to every other day or as directed by your doctor. If you are using more than 2 milliliters of the medication at a time, it is recommended that you inject the medication into a muscle. Use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Learn all preparation and usage instructions in the product package. If you have questions about the use of this medication, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. For the treatment of high calcium, the dosage is also based on weight. It is recommended to use this medication at the lowest effective dosage and for the shortest possible duration to treat your condition. Patients treated long-term with this medication have shown a rare risk of developing cancer. Discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of long term treatment with this medication.
Before injecting each dose, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Also, clean the injection site with rubbing alcohol before injecting. It is important to change the location of the injection site each time to avoid problem areas under the skin or in the muscle.
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time(s) each day. If you are using this medication on a schedule other than every day (e.g., every other day), it may help to mark your calendar with a reminder.
Learn how to store and discard needles and medical supplies safely. Consult your pharmacist.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
(See also How to Use section).
Nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, or flushing may occur. Using this medication at bedtime may help to decrease these side effects. Swelling/redness at injection site, a salty taste in mouth, increased urination, or loss of appetite may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: muscle cramps/spasms, numbness/tingling of the arms/legs.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
The effects of some drugs can change if you take other drugs or herbal products at the same time. This can increase your risk for serious side effects or may cause your medications not to work correctly. These drug interactions are possible, but do not always occur. Your doctor or pharmacist can often prevent or manage interactions by changing how you use your medications or by close monitoring.
To help your doctor and pharmacist give you the best care, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before starting treatment with this product. While using this product, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any other medicines you are using without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: lithium.
This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use. Share this list with your doctor and pharmacist to lessen your risk for serious medication problems.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: nausea, vomiting.
Do not share this medication with others.
Lifestyle changes that help promote healthy bones include increasing weight-bearing exercise, stopping smoking, limiting alcohol, and eating well-balanced meals that contain adequate calcium and vitamin D. Since you may also need to take calcium and vitamin D supplements and make lifestyle changes, consult your doctor for specific advice.
Depending on the condition that you are treating, laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., urine sediment, bone mineral density, calcium levels) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store in the refrigerator between 36-46 degrees F (2-8 degrees C). Do not freeze. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised August 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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