Parathyroid hormone is used to strengthen thin and weak bones in people who have or are at risk of osteoporosis. It helps to stop the loss of bone and also helps to increase bone mass. This helps to reduce the risk of getting a fracture.
Parathyroid hormone is to be injected subcutaneously into the fatty layer under the skin, usually in the abdomen area.
Parathyroid hormone comes in a cartridge which has to be inserted into an injection pen before use.
If your doctor asked you to inject Parathyroid hormone injection on your own at home, follow his instructions carefully. Your doctor or nurse will teach you exactly how to prepare the injection and inject yourself.
Remember to rotate the injection sites. Do not inject into the same area all the time. New injection sites should be at least 1.5 inches away from the previous injection site. Do not inject within a 1 inch radius of the navel (belly button).
After each injection, throw away the used needle. Needles must not be re-used.
Use a brand new injection needle for each injection.
DO NOT SHAKE the cartridge or the injection pen. Shaking may make the medicine ineffective.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal injection schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often miss your scheduled injection, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have:
- high levels of calcium in the blood
- overactive parathyroid gland
- Paget's disease (a painful bone condition which can cause abnormal bone growth and deformity) or other bone diseases
- previously had radiotherapy treatment
- abnormal phosphate levels in the blood
as Parathyroid hormone may not be suitable for you.
Parathyroid hormone injection should not be used by children or anyone younger than 18 years old.
Inform your doctor if you have the following:
- heart disease
- kidney disease or kidney stones
- liver disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
For as long as you are using Parathyroid hormone injection you will need to have regular blood and urine tests to check the level of calcium in your body. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
Ensure that you take enough calcium and vitamin D while being treated with Parathyroid hormone. Your doctor will advise you about how much of these supplements to take.
Parathyroid hormone may cause any of the following side effects: difficulty in sleeping, rash, nausea, indigestion, muscle cramps, joint pain, flu-like symptoms and shortness of breath.
You may feel dizzy when getting up from a sitting or lying down position, especially if you are using Parathyroid hormone for the first time. This is common and should disappear gradually as you get used to the medicine. It will help if you get up slowly from a sitting or lying down position. If you feel dizzy, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking digoxin (medicine for the heart).
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Cartridges that have not been opened and are not in use can be stored at room temperature below 25 °C. Do not freeze.
Cartridges that have been loaded (inserted) into the injection pen must be kept in the refrigerator between 2 to 8°C. Do not freeze.
If you notice that the solution in the cartridge has become frozen, alert your doctor. Frozen solutions of Parathyroid hormone may be less effective and should not be used.
Cartridges that have been loaded into the pen must be thrown away after 28 days in the refrigerator, even if there is still medication inside the cartridge.
If you are unable to store the loaded injection pen in a refrigerator, it can be kept at room temperature (below 25 °C) but must be thrown away after 7 days.
If you notice that the solution in the cartridge has changed colour or has become cloudy, do not use it. Throw it away and open a new cartridge.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.