To determine the effect of intranasal administration of salmon calcitonin on glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis in children with nephrosis, we gave 100 U of calcitonin intranasally on alternate days with 1 alpha-hydroxyvitamin D3 to five children, 8 to 12 years of age, with frequently relapsing nephrosis. Four patients with osteoporosis, 10 to 14 years of age, were treated only with 1 alpha-hydroxyvitamin D3 and served as control subjects. Both groups were treated with an almost equal amount of glucocorticoids previously and during this study period. Bone mineral content of the spine was measured by a quantitative computed tomographic technique. The bone mineral content was preserved in both cortical and spongeous areas of the vertebrae during the 16-month period in the calcitonin-treated group but was decreased significantly in the control group. Urinary hydroxyproline and calcium excretion decreased significantly in the calcitonin-treated group. The serum calcium and phosphorus concentrations and the parathyroid function did not change significantly in either group. We conclude that calcitonin suppressed bone resorption and might be useful for the long-term treatment of osteoporosis, in combination with 1 alpha-hydroxyvitamin D3, in children with nephrosis requiring long-term glucocorticoid therapy.