The purpose of this study was to establish the smallest dose of nasally administered salmon calcitonin (SCT) which, if given in conjunction with a previously published calcium/thiazide treatment, would be as effective as parenteral SCT in the treatment of Paget's disease of bone. Forty patients suffering from symptomatic Paget's disease were treated with 0.5 g calcium three times daily, 10 mg/day clopamide, and 400 IU nasally administered salmon calcitonin given once or twice weekly. This regimen was given for 5 months, after which all treatment was ceased for 4 months. Parenteral SCT (100 IU) was then given three times weekly for 5 months to 25 of the patients. With the oral/nasal treatment, the plasma alkaline phosphatase level (AP) decreased by 30±15 (SD) % when the SCT was given once weekly and by 39±11% (P<0.05) when the SCT was given twice weekly. There were similar decreases in the fasting urinary hydroxyproline: creatinine ratios. The parenteral SCT reduced the AP by 33±23%. Though reduction in bone pain was similar with both treatments, most patients preferred the oral/nasal treatment. It is concluded that the oral/nasal treatment, when the SCT is given twice weekly, has similar efficacy to parenteral SCT, and is a well tolerated, effective initial treatment for Paget's disease of bone.