Drugs And The Parathyroid Glands

The parathyroid glands secrete parathyroid hormone (PTH) that regulate calcium levels in the blood. A decrease in serum calcium stimulates the release of PTH. A decrease of PTH is called hypoparathyroidism and an increase in PTH is hyperparathyroidism.

Hypoparathyroidism is treated with PTH drugs and hyperparathyroidism is treated with calcitonin. Calcitonin decreases serum calcium levels by promoting renal excretion of calcium.

PTH deficiency can cause hypocalcemia, which is a deficit of serum calcium. Hypocalcemia can also be caused by vitamin D deficiency, renal impairment, or diuretic therapy.

Hypocalcemia is treated with PTH replacement that corrects the calcium deficit by promoting calcium absorption from the GI tract, promotes calcium reabsorption from the renal tubules, and activates Vitamin D. Calcitriol is a vitamin D analogue that promotes calcium absorption from the GI tract and secretion of calcium of bone to the bloodstream.

Hyperparathyroidism is caused by malignancies of the parathyroid glands or ectopic PTH hormone secretion from lung cancer, hyperthyroidism, or prolonged immobility during which calcium is lost from bone.

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