parathyroid hormone

Pronunciation: PAR a THY roid HOR mone

Brand: Natpara

What is the most important information I should know about parathyroid hormone?

In animal studies, parathyroid hormone caused bone cancer. However, it is not known whether these effects would occur in humans.

While using parathyroid hormone, you may have high levels of calcium in your blood. Call your doctor if you have muscle weakness, lack of energy, nausea, vomiting, or constipation.

After you stop using this medicine, you may have low calcium levels. Tell your doctor if you have numbness or tingling around your mouth or in your fingers and toes, muscle twitching in your face, cramps in your hands and feet, mood changes, or problems with thinking or memory.

What is parathyroid hormone?

Parathyroid hormone is used together with calcium and vitamin D to treat hypocalcemia (low levels of calcium in the blood) in people who also have low levels of parathyroid hormone.

Parathyroid hormone is usually given after calcium and vitamin D alone have been tried without success.

Parathyroid hormone is available only under a special program. You must be registered in the program and understand the risks and benefits of this medicine.

Parathyroid hormone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using parathyroid hormone?

You should not use parathyroid hormone if you are allergic to it.

In animal studies, parathyroid hormone caused bone cancer. However, it is not known whether these effects would occur in humans. Ask your doctor about your risk.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • high levels of calcium in your blood;
  • high levels of alkaline phosphatase in your blood;
  • bone cancer;
  • Paget's disease or other bone disorders; or
  • radiation treatment.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known whether parathyroid hormone will harm an unborn baby.

Having hypocalcemia during pregnancy may increase the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, hypocalcemia in the baby, or eclampsia (dangerously high blood pressure that can lead to medical problems in both mother and baby). The benefit of treating hypocalcemia with parathyroid hormone may outweigh any risks to the baby.

You should not breastfeed while using this medicine. If you do breastfeed, tell your doctor if you notice symptoms in the nursing baby such as fussiness, weakness, stomach pain, poor feeding, vomiting, weight loss, constipation, more wet diapers than usual, muscle spasms, or tremors.

Parathyroid hormone is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old, or by anyone whose bones are still growing.

How should I use parathyroid hormone?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Parathyroid hormone is injected under the skin. A healthcare provider may teach you how to properly use the medication by yourself.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you don't understand all instructions.

Use only the cartridges and injection pen provided with the medicine. Do not use a syringe to inject parathyroid hormone.

Do not shake the cartridge or you may ruin the medicine. Prepare an injection only when you are ready to give it. Do not use if the medicine has changed colors. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.

You will need frequent medical tests while using this medicine and for a short time after your last dose.

Do not change your dose or stop using parathyroid hormone without your doctor's advice. You could have dangerously low calcium levels if you stop using this medicine suddenly.

Store in the refrigerator, do not freeze. Protect from heat and light.

Each Natpara cartridge contains enough medicine for 14 separate injections. Throw the cartridge away after 14 uses, even if there is still medicine left inside.

Do not throw away the injection pen. It can be used for up to 2 years if you change the cartridge every 14 days.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.

Ask your doctor if you need to take extra calcium on the day you miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while using parathyroid hormone?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food or beverages, especially if you drink milk or eat dairy products (cheese, yogurt, sour cream) or other foods high in calcium.

What are the possible side effects of parathyroid hormone?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives, itching; fast heartbeats, feeling light-headed, difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • new or unusual pain that is ongoing;
  • swelling or tender lumps under your skin;
  • a seizure; or
  • high calcium levels --nausea, vomiting, constipation, increased thirst or urination, muscle weakness, bone pain, confusion, lack of energy, or tired feeling.

After you stop using this medicine, you may have low calcium levels. Tell your doctor if you have numbness or tingling around your mouth or in your fingers and toes, muscle twitching in your face, cramps in your hands and feet, mood changes, or problems with thinking or memory.

Common side effects may include:

  • tingling, burning, or prickly feeling in your skin;
  • headache;
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; or
  • joint pain.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect parathyroid hormone?

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

  • alendronate (Fosamax);
  • digoxin; or
  • vitamin or mineral supplements that contain calcium or vitamin D.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect parathyroid hormone, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about parathyroid hormone.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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