Parathryoid Hormone (NATPARA®) Approved by FDA to Help Control Hypocalcemia in Hypoparathryoidism

NATPARA® (NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Bedminster NJ) for subcutaneous injection was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration on January 23, 2015. Natpara is a parathyroid hormone indicated as an adjunct to calcium and vitamin D to control hypocalcemia in patients with hypoparathyroidism.1 It is injected daily to help regulate the body’s calcium levels.

Mechanism of Action
“Natpara is a parathyroid hormone. Parathyroid hormone raises serum calcium by increasing renal tubular calcium reabsorption, increasing intestinal calcium absorption (ie, by converting 25 OH vitamin D to 1,25 OH2 vitamin D) and by increasing bone turnover, which releases calcium into the circulation.”1

Rare Endocrine Disease
Hypoparathyroidism is a rare endocrine disease that affects approximately 60,000 people in the United States. Symptoms can be caused by low blood calcium levels (hypocalcemia). Patients with hypoparathyroidism may experience symptoms, including:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Muscle twitching
  • Spasms
  • Cramps
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Seizures.

The most common cause of hypoparathyroidism is the loss of active parathyroid tissue following thyroid or parathyroid surgery.  More rare is a defect present at birth (congenital), where a person is born without parathyroid glands.  Occasionally, the specific cause of hypoparathyroidism cannot be determined.

How Natpara is Supplied
Natpara is supplied as a medication cartridge, which is available in four dosage strengths (25, 50, 75, and 100 mcg/dose). The medication cartridge is disposable and designed for use with a “reusable mixing device for product reconstitution and reusable Q-Cliq™ pen injector for drug delivery.”1

Reference
1. NATPARA® Full Prescribing Information. 22Jan2015. http://www.npsp.com/file_depot/0-10000000/0-10000/262/folder/2023/NatparaPI.pdf. Accessed January 27, 2015. 

 

January 27, 2015

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