Compare Fosamax vs. calcitonin

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

Fosamax (alendronate)

Prescription only

Miacalcin (calcitonin)

Prescription only
Prevents bone loss.

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

3.2/ 5 average rating with 169 reviewsforFosamax
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
  • First choice to treat osteoporosis
  • Lowers your risk of fractures due to osteoporosis.
  • Available generic.
  • Available as daily, weekly, or twice weekly dosing.
  • Comes as a regular tablet, an oral solution, or effervescent tablet.
  • 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
  • Can harm your esophagus if you don't remain upright for 30 minutes after taking it.
  • Not recommended for people who can't sit or stand upright for at least 30 minutes.
  • Can increase the risk of atypical fractures.
  • Can cause bad heartburn or stomach problems.
  • 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
  • Effervescent tablet
  • Liquid
  • Nasal spray
  • Injection
Price
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Reviews
169 reviews so far
43%
saidit'sworth it
30%
saiditworked well
19%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Fosamax (alendronate)?

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Side effects
1possible side effects
  • Abdominal pain
    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 anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen, and naproxen
    • History of ulcers or stomach or esophageal conditions
    • Difficulty swallowing
    • Problems sitting or standing for at least 30 minutes
  • Pain in the bones and muscles
  • Problems in the jaw bone
    • Oral or dental surgery
    • Cancer
    • Poor oral hygiene
    • Prolonged use of Fosamax (alendronate)
  • Leg bone fractures
  • 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