Compare Boniva vs. calcitonin

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

Boniva (ibandronate)

Prescription only

Miacalcin (calcitonin)

Prescription only
Prevents bone loss.

Boniva (ibandronate) is a first-choice treatment for osteoporosis and is available as a generic, but how you have to take it can be a hassle. It's also only approved for women, not men.

2.9/ 5 average rating with 64 reviewsforBoniva
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.

Upsides
  • Available in generic.
  • Available in pills that can be taken by mouth once a month.
  • Also available as a shot given into your vein every 3 months.
  • 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.
Downsides
  • You have to take Boniva (ibandronate) first thing in the morning with a full glass of water.
  • You have to remain upright for at least 60 minutes after you take the medicine, which can be a problem if you have mobility issues.
  • It is only approved to treat and prevent osteoporosis in women who have gone through menopause.
  • 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
  • Injection
  • Nasal spray
  • Injection
Price
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Reviews
64 reviews so far
31%
saidit'sworth it
20%
saiditworked well
27%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
22possible side effects
  • Abdominal pain
    8%
  • High blood pressure
    6%
  • Indigestion
    6%
  • Joint pain
    6%
  • Nausea
    5%
  • Diarrhea
    5%
  • Back pain
    5%
  • Constipation
    4%
  • Pain in arms or legs
    4%
  • Flu
    4%
  • Cold
    4%
  • Localized joint stiffness and pain
    3%
  • Bronchitis
    3%
  • Headache
    3%
  • Influenza-like illness
    3%
  • Muscle pain
    2%
  • Muscle cramp
    2%
  • Urinary tract infection
    2%
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
    2%
  • Dizziness
    2%
  • Rash
    2%
  • Sleep difficulty
    2%
See more detailed side effects
The Miacalcin (calcitonin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Irritation and ulcers to the stomach and esophagus
    • Taking with aspirin or other NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
    • History of ulcers, or other stomach or esophageal problems
    • History of difficulty swallowing
    • Unable to sit upright or stand for 60 minutes after taking the medicine
  • Pain in the bones and/or muscles
  • Problems in the jawbone
    • Oral or dental surgery
    • Cancer
    • Poor oral hygiene
    • Prolonged use of Boniva (ibandronate)
  • Leg bone fractures
  • 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
    • Low calcium in blood
  • Nasal problems
    • Age 65 and above
  • Cancer
    • History of cancer
See more detailed risks and warnings