Intranasal and intramuscular human calcitonin in female osteoporosis and in Paget’s disease of bones: a pilot study

A. E. Pontiroli, E. Pajetta, A. Calderara, M. Alberetto, G. Pozza, V. Manganelli, G. Resmini, L. Tessari, V. Maresca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It has been shown that human calcitonin (hCT) is absorbed through the nasal mucosa when administered together with promoters like sodium glycocholate (SGC) or dihydrofusinate. The aim of this study was to compare the clinical and metabolic effects of intranasal (in) and intramuscular (im) hCT in patients with osteoporosis or with Paget’s disease of bones. Fifteen women with postmenopausal or with senile osteoporosis entered a randomized six months trial with in hCT (plus SGC) or with im hCT 100 U on alternate days. Six women in each group were treated for 2 months, and only four women in each group continued treatment for an additional 4 months period. In hCT, but not im hCT, reduced subjective pain, while urinary cAMP increased to a similar extent in the 2 groups. Other metabolic indexes and bone mineral content (BMC) were unchanged, no new fractures took place, and side effects were fewer with in than with im hCT. To confirm the analgesic effect of in hCT, twelve patients with Paget’s disease of bones were randomly treated for 20 days with in or im hCT 100 U/day: during the short period of treatment, pain was reduced by in, not by im hCT, and urinary cAMP excretion similarly increased in the two groups of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-51
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Endocrinological Investigation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1991


  • calcitonin (human)
  • nasal administration
  • Osteoporosis
  • Paget’s disease of bones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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