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Fortical (Generic Calcitonin Salmon Nasal Spray)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Fortical, also known as calcitonin-salmon, is a prescription medication primarily used to treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by decreased bone density, which increases the risk of fractures and bone breaks. Fortical works by inhibiting bone breakdown and promoting bone formation, helping to maintain bone density and reduce the risk of fractures.

How should this medicine be used?

Fortical (calcitonin-salmon) is typically used as a treatment for osteoporosis, particularly in postmenopausal women. It helps to slow down bone loss and reduce the risk of fractures. Fortical is available as nasal spray.

Here are the general guidelines for using Fortical:

  • Dosage: The dosage of Fortical will be determined by your healthcare provider based on factors such as your age, medical condition, and response to treatment. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully regarding the dosage and frequency of use.
  • Nasal Spray Administration:
    • Before using the nasal spray for the first time, prime the pump by spraying it into the air until a fine mist appears.
    • Blow your nose gently to clear your nasal passages.
    • Tilt your head slightly forward.
    • Insert the nozzle into one nostril and close the opposite nostril with your finger.
    • Aim the spray away from the nasal septum and towards the back and outer side of your nostril.
    • Press down on the pump while inhaling gently through your nose.
    • Repeat the process for the other nostril if directed by your doctor.
    • Wipe the nozzle clean after each use and replace the cap securely.
  • Storage: Store Fortical as directed by the manufacturer. Typically, the nasal spray should be stored at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not freeze. Follow any specific storage instructions provided with your medication.
  • Monitoring: Your doctor may monitor your response to Fortical treatment through regular bone density tests and other assessments. Keep all scheduled appointments with your healthcare provider.
  • Side Effects: Be aware of any potential side effects of Fortical, such as nasal irritation, runny nose, or nausea. If you experience any severe or persistent side effects, contact your doctor promptly.
  • Follow-up: It’s important to follow up with your healthcare provider regularly while taking Fortical to monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.

Always consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about how to use Fortical or if you experience any unexpected symptoms while taking the medication.

Other uses for this medicine

Some of these potential alternative uses may include:

  • Paget’s Disease: Fortical may be used in the treatment of Paget’s disease of bone, a condition characterized by abnormal bone remodeling.
  • Hypercalcemia: In some cases, Fortical may be used to help lower high levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia).
  • Pain Management: Fortical has also been investigated for its potential role in pain management, particularly in conditions such as osteoarthritis.

What special precautions should I follow?

Regarding special precautions for using Fortical, consider the following:

  • Allergies: Inform your doctor if you have any allergies to calcitonin-salmon or any other medications.
  • Medical History: Provide your healthcare provider with a complete medical history, especially if you have conditions such as kidney disease, thyroid problems, or a history of cancer.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, discuss the potential risks and benefits of using Fortical with your doctor. It’s important to weigh the potential benefits to the mother against any potential risks to the fetus or nursing infant.
  • Drug Interactions: Inform your doctor about all the medications, supplements, and herbal products you are currently taking, as Fortical may interact with certain medications.
  • Nasal Irritation: If you experience nasal irritation, dryness, or other nasal symptoms while using Fortical nasal spray, consult your doctor. They may recommend adjustments to your dosage or alternative treatment options.
  • Bone Density Monitoring: Your doctor may periodically monitor your bone density and overall response to Fortical treatment. Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments as recommended by your healthcare provider.
  • Adherence to Instructions: Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully regarding the dosage, frequency of use, and any other specific guidelines for using Fortical.

Always consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about the use of Fortical or if you experience any unexpected side effects or symptoms while taking the medication.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

There are no specific dietary instructions associated with Fortical use. However, maintaining a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is generally recommended for overall bone health. Your doctor may advise you to consume foods high in calcium or may recommend calcium and vitamin D supplements if necessary. Follow any dietary recommendations provided by your healthcare provider.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dose of Fortical nasal spray, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Fortical (calcitonin-salmon) may cause side effects in some individuals. Common side effects associated with Fortical use include:

  • Nasal Irritation: This may include symptoms such as nasal discomfort, dryness, itching, or a runny nose, particularly when using the nasal spray formulation.
  • Nausea: Some people may experience mild nausea or stomach upset while using Fortical.
  • Flushing: Fortical may occasionally cause flushing or redness of the skin, particularly in the face and neck area.
  • Headache: Headaches are a common side effect reported by some individuals using Fortical.
  • Back Pain: Some people may experience mild to moderate back pain while taking Fortical.
  • Allergic Reactions: While rare, some individuals may experience allergic reactions to Fortical, including rash, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any signs of an allergic reaction.
  • Hypocalcemia: In some cases, Fortical may lower calcium levels in the blood (hypocalcemia), leading to symptoms such as muscle cramps, tingling sensations, or spasms. Your doctor may monitor your calcium levels during treatment.
  • Rare but Serious Side Effects: Although less common, Fortical use has been associated with rare but potentially serious side effects such as pancreatitis, liver problems, or an increase in certain types of tumors. Notify your healthcare provider immediately if you experience symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes, or unusual changes in urine color.

It’s important to report any side effects or adverse reactions to your healthcare provider promptly. They can provide guidance on managing side effects and determine whether any adjustments to your treatment plan are necessary. Additionally, if you have concerns about potential side effects or are experiencing persistent or severe symptoms, seek medical attention for further evaluation and advice.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Storage and disposal of Fortical:

  • Storage: Store Fortical nasal spray at room temperature away from light and moisture. Avoid freezing the medication. Keep it out of reach of children and pets.
  • Disposal: Dispose of unused or expired Fortical medication properly according to local regulations or guidelines. Do not flush unused medication down the toilet or pour it down the drain unless instructed to do so. Consult your pharmacist or healthcare provider for guidance on safe disposal methods.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of emergency or overdose of Fortical:

  • If you suspect an overdose of Fortical or experience severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, severe dizziness, or loss of consciousness, seek immediate medical attention or call your local poison control center at once.
  • It’s essential to have the original packaging or container of Fortical with you to provide information about the medication to healthcare professionals in case of emergency.

What other information should I know?

  • Follow all instructions provided by your healthcare provider or pharmacist regarding the use of Fortical, including dosage, frequency, and administration method.
  • Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider to monitor your response to Fortical treatment and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.
  • Inform your healthcare provider about all medications, supplements, and herbal products you are currently taking, as Fortical may interact with certain medications.
  • Be aware of potential side effects of Fortical and report any unusual or persistent symptoms to your healthcare provider promptly.
  • Maintain a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D to support bone health while taking Fortical.
  • Keep Fortical medication out of the reach of children and pets, and store it securely to prevent accidental ingestion.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about Fortical or its use, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for clarification and guidance.

By following these guidelines and instructions, you can ensure safe and effective use of Fortical for the treatment of osteoporosis or other conditions as prescribed by your healthcare provider.

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