What is the role of calcitonin-salmon (Fortical, Miacalcin) in the treatment of osteoporosis?

Updated: Jan 20, 2021
  • Author: Rachel Elizabeth Whitaker Elam, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Calcitonin salmon (Fortical, Miacalcin) is a hormone that decreases osteoclast activity, thereby impeding postmenopausal bone loss. It is indicated for the treatment of women who are more than 5 years post menopause and have low bone mass relative to healthy premenopausal women. Calcitonin salmon is not considered a first-line therapy for osteoporosis, and should be reserved for patients who refuse or cannot tolerate bisphosphonates or in whom bisphosphonates are contraindicated. It is recommended in conjunction with adequate calcium and vitamin D intake to prevent the progressive loss of bone mass. It is available as an injection and as an intranasal spray. The intranasal spray is delivered as a single daily spray that provides 200 IU of the drug. The drug can be delivered subcutaneously, but this route is rarely used.


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