Natpara injection is a restricted access drug that is used in controlling low calcium levels or hypocalcemia in patients with hypoparathyroidism.
This drug is commonly used with vitamin D and calcium for this purpose. Before a doctor can prescribe this drug, he or she must enroll first in the restricted access program for this drug.
2 What to Know Before Using
Before using Natpara, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. The risks and benefits the medicine offer must be weighed.
Before using this medicine, you and your doctor must consider the following:
Allergies: If you have any unusual reaction to any medicine, be sure to tell your doctor about it. Additionally, disclose other types of allergies - foods, preservatives, animals, or dyes, if there are any. Read the package ingredients carefully and make sure you are not allergic to any of its ingredients.
Pediatric: No appropriate studies are performed to determine safety and efficacy of use in children.
Geriatric: Studies show that using this medicine in older adults does not cause different side effects than those experienced by younger adults. Nevertheless, using this drug in the elderly must be done with caution since older patients are more at risk of kidney problems.
Pregnancy: Animal studies show that using this drug can be harmful to the unborn fetus.
Breastfeeding: Although there are no adequate studies in lactating mothers that determine potential risk in an infant when breastfeeding, the potential benefits should be weighed against the risks before taking this medication.
Drug Interactions: Certain medicines have adverse effects when used together. Nevertheless, it is still possible to take other medicines when taking this drug. Make sure to inform your doctor about other drugs you are taking, so that alterations and precautions will be made if necessary.Using this with certain medicines needs utmost caution because the combination may result in certain side effects. Before taking this drug, talk to your doctor about possible interactions if you are taking other medications, both prescription and over-the-counter.
Other Medical Problems: If any other medical problems are present, the use of this medicine may be affected. For instance, using this drug may make certain bone diseases worse, or if you have a kidney condition, the effects of the drug may be increased due to the slower removal of it from your system. Inform your doctor if you have any other medical conditions.
To use Natpara properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. Natpara is administered through subcutaneous injection or injection through the skin. Your doctor or healthcare practitioner may teach you how to administer it, so you can give it to yourself at home.
Follow your doctor’s instructions on the following:
Preparation of the injection with the use of the medication cartridge and mixing device.
How to properly use disposable syringes.
How to administer the drug using the reusable Q-Cliq injector.
Proper storage of the medicine.
Your doctor will also instruct you on how to take calcium and vitamin D supplements during treatment.
The dose of this medicine depends on the patient’s needs or requirements. Follow the doctor’s orders regarding intake; the following dosage information is only for the average use of this medicine. Do not change your doctor’s prescribed dosage even if it is different than what is indicated here.
In treating low calcium levels in adults, starting dose is 50 mcg to be injected once a day. The dose may be adjusted every 4 weeks as per doctor’s advice. The usual maximum dose is 100 mcg a day.
Take the missed dose as soon as possible. In case it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed one and follow your regular dosing schedule. Never take double doses.
Keep the medicine in an airtight container at normal room temperature. Keep it away from direct light, heat, and moisture. Do not let it freeze. Keep the medicine out of children’s reach. Throw away any outdated medicine or medicine that is not in use. Keep the medicine in its original package until needed.
The mixed drug in Q-Cliq pen can be stored in the fridge for up to 14 days. Throw away any unused mixed medicine in cartridges after 14 days. Use a hard, closed container to dispose of the needles. Keep needle containers away from children and pets.
4 Precautions to Take
Before using Natpara, there are some precautions you must take. Regular checkups are important to keep your progress on track and to see if the drug is working properly. To check for unwanted effects, blood and urine tests may be requested.
Never use parathyroid hormone with alendronate. Doing so will increase your risk for bone tumor or osteosarcoma. This is more likely to take place if certain genetic disorders or conditions such as Paget’s disease of the bone are present. Inform your doctor about any pain in the bone is present and does not go away, as well as a new growth or soft tissue mass.
Using this medicine may cause severe hypercalcemia or high calcium levels in the blood, particularly when you just started treatment or had a dosage increase. If any of the symptoms of hypercalcemia is present, such as constipation, confusion, dry mouth, muscle weakness, metallic taste, weight loss, or nausea and vomiting, consult your doctor right away.
On the other hand, stopping this medicine abruptly or without a doctor’s consent may cause hypocalcemia or extremely low calcium in the blood. Hypocalcemia is characterized by stomach cramps, numbness, muscle spasms, breathing difficulties, or tingling in the toes, fingers, or the area around the mouth.
Do not take any other medications without your doctor’s advice.
5 Potential Side Effects
While not all people taking Natpara may suffer from these side effects, you may need to call your doctor if any of these are present:
Numbness and tingling around the mouth, fingertips, or feet
Slow or fast heartbeat
Some of the side effects may take place and may not need special medical attention and usually go away as the body adjusts to the medicine during treatment. Some patients may experience other side effects not listed above.
If you want to report side effects, you may do so by calling the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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