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Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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  • is an endogenous polypeptide hormone that inhibits osteoclastic bone resorption. Salmon calcitonin, 200IU daily by intranasal administration, is approved for the treatment of established postmenopausal osteoporosis in order to reduce the risk of vertebral fracture
  • approved dose has been shown to reduce vertebral fractures in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis but robust evidence for non-vertebral and hip fracture reduction is lacking
  • calcitonin is contraindicated in patients with hypocalcaemia and should not be used in patients with nasal ulceration
  • most frequently observed undesirable effects are local reactions such as rhinitis and nasal discomfort.

Calcitonin suppresses osteoclast action and inhibits their recruitment.


  • 1. National Osteoporosis Society (2008). Guideline for the diagnosis and management of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women and men from the age of 50 years in the UK.

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