, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 23-26

Efficacy of low-dose, intermittent eel calcitonin treatment for osteoporosis

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The efficacy of low-dose intermittent calcitonin treatment for osteoporosis was evaluated. Twenty subjects (19 women, 1 man, mean age 59.1 ± 8.1) who exhibited osteopenia on plain X-ray were treated once a week with either a 10-IU or 20-IU i.m. injection of eel calcitonin (Elcatonin). Bone mineral density (BMD) of the lumbar spine as determined by dual photon absorptiometry significantly increased in the 20-IU group at 3 (7.2%) and 6 (10.7%) months, while the results were not significant in the 10-IU group (2.0% and 2.4%, respectively). Forearm BMD assessed by single photon absorptiometry did not change significantly in either group. The urinary hydroxyproline/creatinine ratio was significantly suppressed in both groups (P < 0.05). Serum bone Gla-protein showed a tendency to increase at 6 months in both groups. Spontaneous back pain disappeared by the end of this study in all patients who received 20IU per week, although it persisted in some of the patients in the 10-IU group. These results suggest that low-dose, intermittent calcitonin is effective at least after 6 months in the treatment of osteoporosis with a minimum dose of calcitonin at 20IU per week.