Medication for Hyperparathyroidism
NYU Langone doctors manage hyperparathyroidism based on the severity of the condition. They consider calcium levels, kidney function, and whether hyperparathyroidism is causing complications, such as osteoporosis or kidney stones.
If you have mild hyperparathyroidism, your doctor may choose to observe and monitor the condition—called watchful waiting—and suggest measures to limit bone loss, including osteoporosis medication if needed.
In people with secondary hyperparathyroidism, the body produces too much parathyroid hormone because calcium levels in the blood are low.
NYU Langone endocrinologists and nephrologists—doctors specializing in kidney care—first try to manage the underlying cause of this condition, which may be due to a kidney condition or a vitamin D deficiency.
They may also prescribe medication or vitamin D supplements to lower parathyroid hormone levels in people with secondary hyperparathyroidism.
Our doctors may recommend the use of cinacalcet for secondary hyperparathyroidism if you have kidney disease that is being treated with dialysis.
Taken daily by mouth, cinacalcet belongs to a class of medications known as calcimimetics. These medications reduce the amount of parathyroid hormone produced by the body. As a result, they also lower levels of calcium.
Side effects are rare but include nausea, vomiting, and, occasionally, hypocalcemia, or low calcium levels. If side effects occur, they can often be corrected by adjusting the dosage.
Vitamin D Supplements
If you have secondary hyperparathyroidism due to a vitamin D deficiency, your doctor may prescribe vitamin D supplements. These are taken by mouth daily or weekly, sometimes in high doses.
Vitamin D supplements are usually well tolerated. Your doctor monitors your vitamin D levels throughout treatment to adjust the dose, if necessary.