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Calcitonin - RCP evidence grades in osteoporosis

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Spine: A Non-vertebral: B Hip: B

In a five year blind, randomised placebo controlled trial of 1,255 postmenopausal women with established osteoporosis, patients received either placebo or increasing doses of intranasal calcitonin upto 400 IU daily. All patients received vitamin D + calcium. Bone mineral density at the spine increased from 0.7 to 1.6% inthe treatment groups. No differences were observed at the hip. There was a decrease in the risk of new or worsening spinal deformity inthe 200 IU daily category.

A systematic review of calcitonin on fracture rates revealed significant decreases in vertebral and non-vetebral fractures but these benefits seem lower than those observed in trials with bisphosphonates.

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