Calcitonin Linked to an Increased Cancer Risk

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) warned that calcitonin-containing medicines should only be used for short-term treatment because of evidence that long-term use of these medicines is associated with an increased risk of cancer.

It also recommended that nasal sprays with calcitonin - used to treat osteoporosis - be withdrawn, according to Medscape.

In the U.S., two nasal-spray versions of calcitonin - Fortiacl and Miacalcin - are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat postmenopausal osteoporosis in women, according to Medscape. Neither carries a warning label regarding its link to cancer nor do they mention any restrictions on usage.

According to the EMA, calcitonin should not be used in any form to treat osteoporosis. The EMA stated that although the European Union (EU) had earlier approved the use of the medicine for Paget’s disease, extreme bone loss from immobilization, and hypercalcaemia, the drug should be used only for a short period even in those cases.

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