Compare Boniva vs. calcitonin

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

Boniva
(ibandronate)

Miacalcin
(calcitonin)

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.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.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
3.81Boniva
Reviews for Boniva
31%
of people (All ages) say Boniva is worth it
20%
say it works well
27%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Boniva (ibandronate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

Not enough reviews for this treatment. Help someone out, leave a review!

Have you used Miacalcin (calcitonin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
Bonivacalcitonin
  • Abdominal pain 8%
  • High blood pressure 6%
  • Joint pain 6%
  • Indigestion 6%
  • Diarrhea 5%
  • Back pain 5%
  • Nausea 5%
  • Constipation 4%
  • Cold 4%
  • Pain in arms or legs 4%
More Boniva side effects »
  • Stuffy nose 5%
  • Back pain 3%
More calcitonin side effects »
How it works
Bonivacalcitonin
Boniva (ibandronate) is a bisphosphonate. It slows down osteoclasts, the cells that break down bone. This results in greater bone mass and lowers the possibility of fractures.Miacalcin (calcitonin) blocks the cells that break down bone. This makes stronger bones and lowers calcium levels in the blood.
Type of medication
Bonivacalcitonin
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
Bonivacalcitonin
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Nasal spray
  • Injection
Used for
Bonivacalcitonin
Risk factors for serious side effects
Bonivacalcitonin
  • 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
  • Oral or dental surgery
Detailed Boniva (ibandronate) risks & warnings »
  • Allergy to fish
  • Seizure history
  • Low calcium in blood
  • Age 65 and above
  • History of cancer
Detailed Miacalcin (calcitonin) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Food
Bonivacalcitonin
  • Although rare, breakdown of the jawbone has happened in people taking Boniva (ibandronate). This is more likely to happen if you have oral or dental surgery, or if you have poor oral hygiene. The risk might also increase the longer you take Boniva (ibandronate). If you notice pain or swelling in your jaw, talk to your doctor right away.
No food related info.
Pain
Bonivacalcitonin
  • If you have pain with swallowing around your chest or stomach, new or worsening heartburn, or any pain around your hips, thighs, or jaw, tell your doctor right away.
No pain related info.
Upsides and benefits
Bonivacalcitonin
  • 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 and risks
Bonivacalcitonin
  • 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).
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
Bonivacalcitonin
  • Can be taken as a pill or as an injection.
  • Take the pill first thing when you wake up by swallowing the whole pill with a full glass of plain water.
  • Don't eat or drink anything, or take other medicines for at least 60 minutes after you've taken the pill.
  • Stay sitting or standing for at least 60 minutes after you take the pill.
  • If you have pain with swallowing around your chest or stomach, new or worsening heartburn, or any pain around your hips, thighs, or jaw, tell your doctor right away.
  • Take the 150 mg tablet on the same day every month. If you forget to take the 150 mg tablet on your chosen day each month, take it on the next day in the morning.
  • Keep taking your calcium and vitamin D.
  • New, unopened nasal spray bottles should be stored in the refrigerator until you use them. Once they are opened, they should be stored at room temperature for up to 35 days.
  • Allow nasal spray bottle to reach room temperature before use. Prime before first use by spraying in the air 5 times until full spray is produced.
  • Toss spray bottle after 30 doses. It may not feel empty yet, but it won't deliver the correct dose anymore.
  • Follow the directions your doctor or pharmacist tells you so you get the full dose every time.
  • Continue to take your calcium or vitamin D.
  • The nasal spray is only used for weak bones. Forms of the drug that are injected in the skin or muscles are used for other conditions such as high calcium in the blood, Paget's disease, and weak bones.
Learn more
More about BonivaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Boniva (ibandronate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about calcitoninSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Miacalcin (calcitonin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it