Compare Reclast vs. calcitonin

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



Prevents bone loss. Reclast (zoledronate) is a good choice for osteoporosis if you aren't able to take bisphosphonates by mouth. It is available as a generic, but you have to see a doctor to get each dose.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
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Reviews for Reclast
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say it works well
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Have you used Reclast (zoledronate)?
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Have you used Miacalcin (calcitonin)?
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Side effects
  • Joint pain 4%
  • Fever 13%
  • High blood pressure 1%
  • Muscle aches 8%
  • Headache 4%
  • Pain in arms or legs 1%
  • Nausea 4%
  • Influenza-like Illness 6%
More Reclast side effects »
  • Stuffy nose 5%
  • Back pain 3%
More calcitonin side effects »
How it works
Reclast (zoledronate) is a bisphosphonate. It slows down 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
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
  • Injection
  • Nasal spray
  • Injection
Used for
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • Oral or dental surgery
  • Cancer
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Low parathyroid hormone
  • History of thyroid surgery
Detailed Reclast (zoledronate) risks & warnings »
  • Allergy to fish
  • Seizure history
  • Low calcium in blood
  • Age 65 and above
  • History of cancer
Detailed Miacalcin (calcitonin) risks & warnings »

Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

  • People on Reclast (zoledronate) have had breakdown of the jawbone. However, it is rare. It is more likely to happen if you have oral or dental surgery, or if you have poor oral hygiene. If you notice pain or swelling in your jaw, talk to your doctor right away. Also, before any oral/dental procedure, tell your surgeon that you are taking Reclast (zoledronate).
No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
  • Reclast (zoledronate) can cause kidney injury, especially in people who already have problems with their kidneys. It is important that you get blood tests done before each dose to measure your kidney function. Reclast (zoledronate) shouldn’t be used in people who have very poor kidney function.
  • It can't be used if you have really poor kidney function.
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • Joint pain and muscle pain are common side effects after the infusion.
No pain related info.
Upsides and benefits
  • Available in generic.
  • Depending on what you're using it for, you may only need to take it as a one-time dose, or every 1 to 2 years.
  • 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
  • You have to go to your doctor's office or an infusion center to get each dose by IV infusion.
  • It can't be used if you have really poor kidney function.
  • Joint pain and muscle pain are common side effects after the infusion.
  • 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
  • Eat normally and drink at least 2 glasses of liquid before your infusion.
  • You can take acetaminophen (Tylenol) to lower fever and chills from the infusion.
  • Talk to your doctor if you develop swelling, pain, or soreness in your jaw.
  • Call your doctor if you develop pain in your hips, thighs, or legs.
  • If you have to have dental or oral surgery, tell your surgeon that you're taking this medication.
  • Drink plenty of liquids while you're on this medicine.
  • 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 ReclastSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Reclast (zoledronate)?
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More about calcitoninSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Miacalcin (calcitonin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it