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Calcitonin is a hormone produced by the thyroid gland that helps regulate calcium levels in the body and is involved in the process of bone building. When taken by shot or nasal spray, it slows the rate of bone thinning related to osteoporosis.

Calcitonin levels in the blood drop after a person has his or her thyroid gland removed. But medicine is not needed to replace this lost hormone.

Calcitonin sometimes is used as treatment to relieve pain from spinal fractures related to osteoporosis. It is not known how calcitonin decreases pain.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerCarla J. Herman, MD, MPH - Geriatric Medicine

Current as ofNovember 14, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.