1-Year controlled randomised trial of prevention of early postmenopausal bone loss by intranasal calcitonin

Lancet. 1987 Dec 26;2(8574):1481-3. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(87)92619-5.


79 women who had been menopausal for less than 36 months and who had not received any form of treatment to prevent bone loss were randomly assigned to a 12-month regimen of calcium 500 mg/day or calcium 500 mg plus intranasal salmon calcitonin 50 IU/day for 5 days per week. After 12 months of treatment bone mineral density had decreased in the calcium-only group by a mean of 3.16 (SEM 0.6)% (p less than 0.01) but had increased in the calcium plus calcitonin group by 1.38 (0.8)% (NS). The difference in response between the two treatment groups was also highly significant (p less than 0.01), as was the difference between values for hydroxyprolinuria/creatininuria (p less than 0.01). Endogenous calcitonin levels rose significantly in the calcium group but remained unchanged in calcitonin-treated patients. Treatment by calcitonin and calcium was not followed by increased secretion of parathyroid hormone. The findings suggest that intranasal calcitonin can counteract early postmenopausal bone loss.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Bone and Bones / diagnostic imaging
  • Calcitonin / administration & dosage*
  • Calcitonin / therapeutic use
  • Calcium / administration & dosage
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Creatinine / urine
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxyproline / urine
  • Minerals / analysis
  • Osteoporosis / prevention & control*
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Random Allocation
  • Tablets / adverse effects
  • Time Factors


  • Minerals
  • Tablets
  • salmon calcitonin
  • Calcitonin
  • Creatinine
  • Hydroxyproline
  • Calcium