Generic name: calcitriol (oral/injection) (kal si TRYE ol)
Brand name: Calcijex, Rocaltrol
Dosage forms: injectable solution (1 mcg/mL); oral capsule (0.25 mcg; 0.5 mcg); oral liquid (1 mcg/mL)
Drug class: Vitamins
Calcitriol is a form of vitamin D3. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium from the stomach.
Calcitriol is used to treat hyperparathyroidism (overactive parathyroid glands) and metabolic bone disease in people who have chronic kidney failure and are not receiving dialysis.
Calcitriol is also used to treat calcium deficiency in people with hypoparathyroidism (underactive parathyroid glands) caused by surgery, disease, or other conditions.
Calcitriol is also used to treat calcium deficiency (hypocalcemia) and metabolic bone disease in people who are receiving dialysis.
Calcitriol may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use calcitriol if you have high levels of calcium or vitamin D in your blood, or if you have ever had an allergic reaction to calcitriol or other forms of vitamin D.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use calcitriol if:
- you have high levels of calcium or vitamin D in your blood; or
- you have had an allergic reaction to calcitriol or other forms of vitamin D.
Tell your doctor about all your medical conditions or allergies.
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
You should not breastfeed while using calcitriol.
Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.
How should I use calcitriol?
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Calcitriol oral is taken by mouth.
Measure oral liquid carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).
Calcitriol injection is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give your first dose and may teach you how to properly use the medication by yourself.
Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Prepare an injection only when you are ready to give it. Do not use if the medicine has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.
You will need frequent medical tests.
Drink plenty of fluids unless your doctor has told you to restrict your fluid intake.
You may need to follow a special diet while using calcitriol. Follow all instructions of your doctor or dietitian. Learn about the foods to eat or avoid to help control your condition.
Call your doctor if you are sick with vomiting or diarrhea, or if you are sweating more than usual. You can easily become dehydrated while taking calcitriol. This can lead to very low blood pressure, a serious electrolyte imbalance, or kidney failure.
If you need major surgery or will be on long-term bed rest, your dose or testing needs may change. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Use the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Early signs of overdose may include headache, weakness, drowsiness, dry mouth, metallic taste, nausea, vomiting, constipation, stomach pain, loss of appetite, muscle pain, or bone pain.
Late signs of overdose may include increased thirst, itching, increased urination (especially at night), severe stomach pain spreading to your back, irregular heartbeats, loss of appetite, weight loss, feeling hot, decreased interest in sex, or being unable to urinate.
What should I avoid while using calcitriol?
Do not take other vitamin or mineral supplements unless your doctor has told you to.
Ask your doctor before using an antacid or laxative, especially if you are on dialysis. Taking antacids or laxatives that contain magnesium may increase your blood levels of magnesium, which could affect your heart or blood pressure.
Calcitriol side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using calcitriol and call your doctor at once if you have:
- dehydration symptoms--feeling very thirsty or hot, being unable to urinate, heavy sweating, or hot and dry skin;
- high calcium levels--nausea, vomiting, constipation, increased thirst or urination, muscle weakness, bone pain, confusion, lack of energy, or tired feeling; or
- low calcium level--muscle spasms or contractions, numbness or tingly feeling (around your mouth, or in your fingers and toes).
Calcitriol can affect growth in children. Tell your doctor if your child is not growing at a normal rate while using calcitriol.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect calcitriol?
Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:
- digoxin, digitalis;
- a diuretic or "water pill"--hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ, Diovan HCT, Hyzaar, Maxzide, Tenoretic, Zestoretic, and others;
- seizure medicine--phenobarbital, phenytoin; or
- steroid medicine--prednisone, dexamethasone, fluticasone, and others.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect calcitriol, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.