Compare Actonel vs. calcitonin

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Actonel (risedronate)

Prescription only

Miacalcin (calcitonin)

Prescription only
Prevents bone loss and fracture.

Actonel (risedronate) is a first-choice treatment for osteoporosis, but taking it can be a hassle.

3.8/ 7 average rating with 83 reviewsforActonel
Treats high calcium levels and prevents bone loss.

Miacalcin (calcitonin) can be used for osteoporosis, but it is not a first choice because there are more effective medications available.

  • Actonel (risedronate) is one of the first choice medicines used for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis.
  • Available in a cheaper, generic form.
  • Can take tablet form once or twice a month, once a week, or once a day.
  • Using the nasal spray causes fewer side effects than the injectable version.
  • Can help with bone pain if you've had a recent fracture.
  • Available in generic.
  • Need to take Actonel (risedronate) on an empty stomach first thing in the morning with a full glass of water.
  • Requires the person taking this medicine to remain upright for at least 30 minutes after taking it, which can be a problem for those who have trouble sitting or standing.
  • Miacalcin (calcitonin) is not as effective as other medications used to stop bone loss or lower calcium levels.
  • You're at a higher risk for certain cancers while taking Miacalcin (calcitonin).
  • If you're allergic to fish, you might also be allergic to Miacalcin (calcitonin).
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Delayed-release pill
  • Nasal spray
  • Injection
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Side effects
10possible side effects
  • Infection
  • Back pain
  • Joint pain
  • Accidental injury
  • Generalized pain
  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Traumatic bone fracture
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • High blood pressure
See more detailed side effects
The Miacalcin (calcitonin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and warnings
  • Irritation and ulcers in the stomach and esophagus

    History of ulcers, or other stomach or esophageal problems

    ...and 2 more risk factors

  • Problems in the jawbone

    Oral or dental surgery

    ...and 2 more risk factors

  • Low calcium in the blood

    History of low calcium in the blood

See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Allergic reaction

    Allergy to fish

  • Seizures

    Seizure history

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Nasal problems

    Age 65 and above

  • Cancer

    History of cancer

See more detailed risks and warnings