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Volume 10 , Issue 4
Fall 1996

Pages 306-315


Effects of Salmon Calcitonin on Patients With Atypical (Idiopathic) Facial Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Schwartz/Galonski/Gordon/Shandling/Mock/Tenenbaum


PMID: 9161235

The analgesic properties of salmon calcitonin for the treatment of atypical facial pain (AFP) were investigated. An initial open-label trial of salmon calcitonin in subjects with refractory AFP was follwed with a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial of salmon calcitonin in the management of AFP. Salmon calcitonin (100 IU in 1 mL saline) was administered in an open-label fashion to 13 subjects with refractory AFP five times per week for 6 weeks. In the subsequent randomized investigation, salmon calcitonin (100 IU in 1 mL saline) or placebo (1 mL saline) was delivered three times per week for 3 weeks, with a 1-week washout prior to crossover. The percentage of subjects dropping ot (57%) exceeded that reported in other pain studies using calcitonin. Tgherefore, it was imperative to halt the study for ethical reasons. There was no difference in outcome measures (P > .05) in subjects administered either active drug or placebo, and a high incidence of side effects led to dropout in subjects taking salmon calcitonin. Although salmon calcitonin may have analgesic properties, it is not efficacious for AFP, largely because of the side effects.


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