Natpara: Uses & Side Effects

Natpara (parathyroid hormone) is a manmade
form of a hormone that occurs naturally in the body. Natpara is used together
with calcium and vitamin D to treat hypocalcemia (low levels of calcium in the
blood) in people who also have low levels of parathyroid hormone.

Natpara is usually given after calcium and
vitamin D alone have been tried without success.

Natpara is available only under a special
program. You must be registered in the program and understand the risks and
benefits of this medicine.

How should
I use Natpara?

Take Natpara exactly as prescribed by your
doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all
medication guides or instruction sheets.

Natpara is injected under the skin. A
healthcare provider may teach you how to properly use the medication by
yourself.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions
for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you don’t
understand all instructions.

Use only the cartridges and injection pen
provided with the medicine. Do not use a syringe to inject Natpara.

Do not shake the cartridge or you may ruin
the medicine. Prepare an injection only when you are ready to give it. Do not
use if the medicine has changed colors. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.

You will need frequent medical tests while
using this medicine and for a short time after your last dose.

Do not change your dose or stop using
Natpara without your doctor’s advice. You could have dangerously low calcium
levels if you stop using this medicine suddenly.

Store in the refrigerator, do not freeze.
Protect from heat and light.

Each Natpara cartridge contains enough
medicine for 14 separate injections. Throw the cartridge away after 14 uses,
even if there is still medicine left inside.

Do not throw away the injection pen. It can
be used for up to 2 years if you change the cartridge every 14 days.

Precautions

You should not use Natpara if you are
allergic to parathyroid hormone.

In animal studies, parathyroid hormone
caused bone cancer. However, it is not known whether these effects would occur
in humans. Ask your doctor about your risk.

To make sure Natpara is safe for you, tell
your doctor if you have ever had:

  • high levels of calcium in your blood;
  • high levels of alkaline phosphatase in your blood;
  • bone cancer;
  • Paget’s disease or other bone disorders;
  • radiation treatment.

It is not known whether this medicine will
harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become
pregnant.

You should not breast-feed while using this
medicine.

Natpara is not approved for use by anyone
younger than 18 years old, or by anyone whose bones are still growing.

Side
Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have
signs of an allergic reaction to Natpara: hives, itching; fast heartbeats,
feeling light-headed, difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue,
or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • new or unusual pain that is ongoing;
  • swelling or tender lumps under your skin;
  • a seizure;
  • high calcium levels – nausea, vomiting, constipation, increased
    thirst or urination, muscle weakness, bone pain, confusion, lack of energy, or
    tired feeling.

After you stop using this medicine, you may
have low calcium levels. Tell your doctor if you have numbness or tingling
around your mouth or in your fingers and toes, muscle twitching in your face,
cramps in your hands and feet, mood changes, or problems with thinking or memory.

Common Natpara side effects may include:

  • tingling, burning, or prickly feeling in your skin;
  • headache;
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
  • joint pain.

Interactions

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines,
especially:

  • alendronate (Fosamax);
  • digoxin;
  • vitamin or mineral supplements that contain calcium or vitamin D.

Always consult your healthcare provider to
ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal
circumstances.

Keyword: Natpara.

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