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FDA Panel Now Says to Stop Marketing Salmon Calcitonin for Osteoporosis Due to Increased Cancer Risk!

Posted by Jane Jansen on

Unfortunately many American patients still have not been informed about this by their medical doctors and are still using Calcitonin today.

In the United States, was approved in 1986 as an injection and in 1995 as a nasal spray. Calcitonin, also called calcitonin-salmon, is a synthetic copy of a polypeptide hormone secreted by the ultimobranchial gland of salmon.

In the United States, 2 nasal-spray versions of calcitonin are FDA-approved for treating postmenopausal osteoporosis in women: Fortical (Upsher-Smith Laboratories) and Miacalcin (Novartis).

In 2012, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) reviewed the benefits and risks of taking this medication and noted that a small increased risk of cancer has been seen with long term use of calcitonin.

In July 2013, Health Canada decided to withdraw all nasal spray calcitonin products from the market following a review of the safety and effectiveness data for synthetic calcitonin.  Calcitonin does not have a very potent anti-osteoporosis effect, and does not decrease the risk of hip or non-spine fractures. For this reason, Osteoporosis Canada has previously advised that it not be used as a first line treatment for osteoporosis.

Skin and breast cancers constituted the majority of malignancies observed, but many other cancer types were also reported. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) also said that the long-term use of calcitonin-containing medicines delivered by injection or infusion increases the risk for cancer. The agency said, “Calcitonin in any formulation should not be used to treat osteoporosis at all”.


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