Medical Practice

Treatment of Paget's Disease of Bone with Synthetic Salmon Calcitonin

Br Med J 1974; 3 doi: (Published 21 September 1974) Cite this as: Br Med J 1974;3:727
  1. J. A. Kanis,
  2. D. B. Horn,
  3. R. D. M. Scott,
  4. J. A. Strong


    Thirteen patients with painful Paget's disease of bone were treated as outpatients with low doses of synthetic salmon calcitonin 22·5-50 μg three times weekly. Treatment produced full remission of pain in a mean time of 5·5 weeks and a mean depression of serum alkaline phosphatase activity of 33%.

    The interval before symptomatic relief could not be predicted from the variables studied. The ultimate fall in serum alkaline phosphatase activity, however, could be predicted from the initial levels and from the early rate of decrease (P < 0·001). Biochemical resistance to treatment, which occurred in three cases, could be related to the dose and duration of treatment.

    Prolonged remissions of pain may occur which are not related to biochemical remission, to the dose of calcitonin, or to the duration of treatment. The side effects attributable to salmon calcitonin were transient nausea (in nine patients), transient flushing (in four), diarrhoea (in two), and rash (in one) though in only one patient did treatment have to be withdrawn prematurely because of these effects.

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