Calcitonin for Osteoporosis and Bone Pain
N. M. Mehta,
J. P. Gilligan.
Calcitonin has been approved for the treatment of osteoporosis and other diseases involving accelerated bone turnover for approximately 25 years. The most commonly studied and prescribed form is salmon calcitonin, which has a greater efficacy in clinical use. A wealth of well-controlled clinical studies have demonstrated that calcitonin preserves or increases bone mineral density (BMD) and reduces the risk of vertebral fractures in osteoporosis. Recent studies have indicated that while a low BMD is correlated with an increase in fracture risk, increases in BMD alone do not explain the antifracture efficacy of antiresorptive therapies such as calcitonin. Therapies that moderately increase BMD may reduce fracture risk by reducing the rate of bone turnover and maintaining the integrity of the trabecular architecture, resulting in the preservation of bone strength and quality in osteoporotic patients. An advantage of calcitonin that is not shared by other antiresorptive therapies is its direct analgesic effect on bone pain. Calcitonin has been demonstrated to be clinically useful in improving pain, not only from the acute vertebral fractures of osteoporosis, but also in Pagets disease, bone malignancies, and other sources of musculoskeletal pain. Drugs containing calcitonin may be approved for additional indications in the near future, and as more convenient routes of administration such as the oral route become available, the demand for the calcitonin peptide is expected to increase.
Keywords: calcitonin, osteoporosis, bone pain, salmon calcitonin, bone mineral density, antifracture efficacy, antiresorptive therapies
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