Generic Name: calcitriol (KAL-si-TRYE-ol)
Brand Name: Rocaltrol
Calcitriol is used for:
Managing certain conditions caused by high or low parathyroid hormone levels. It is used to manage low blood calcium levels in patients who are on chronic kidney dialysis. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Calcitriol is a form of vitamin D. It works by promoting proper absorption and use of calcium and phosphate by the body in normal bone development and maintenance.
Do NOT use calcitriol if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in calcitriol
- you have high levels of vitamin D or calcium in the blood
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using calcitriol:
Some medical conditions may interact with calcitriol. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have heart disease, kidney disease or kidney stones, hardening of the arteries or other blood vessel problems, or a high phosphate level in the blood
- if you are dehydrated, have recently had surgery, or will be confined to a bed or chair for a long period of time
- if you take a phosphate-binding medicine (eg, calcium acetate)
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with calcitriol. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Thiazide diuretics (eg, hydrochlorothiazide) because the risk of high blood calcium levels may be increased
- Digoxin because the risk of irregular heartbeat may be increased
- Antacids that contain magnesium because high blood magnesium levels may occur
- Barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital), cholestyramine, corticosteroids (eg, prednisone), hydantoins (eg, phenytoin), or ketoconazole because they may decrease calcitriol's effectiveness
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if calcitriol may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use calcitriol:
Use calcitriol as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Calcitriol may be taken with or without food.
- Do not take mineral oil or antacids containing magnesium with calcitriol. These can reduce the effects of calcitriol.
- If you miss a dose of calcitriol, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use calcitriol.
Important safety information:
- Calcitriol may cause drowsiness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to calcitriol. Using calcitriol alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
- Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
- Carefully follow the diet plan provided by your doctor.
- Check with your doctor before taking any vitamins or mineral supplements containing vitamin D or calcium, phosphorus, or antacids containing calcium or magnesium.
- You will need to take care to not become dehydrated while you take calcitriol. If you have normal kidney function, be sure to drink plenty of fluids. If you have kidney problems or are on dialysis, talk with your doctor about how much fluid you should drink each day. Discuss any questions with your doctor.
- Tell your doctor you take calcitriol if you will be having surgery or will be confined to a bed or chair for a long period of time. The risk of high blood calcium levels may be increased.
- Lab tests, including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and alkaline phosphate levels, may be performed while you use calcitriol. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Calcitriol should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 1 year old and in CHILDREN who are on dialysis; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using calcitriol while you are pregnant. It is not known if calcitriol is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking calcitriol.
Possible side effects of calcitriol:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. When used in small doses, no COMMON side effects have been reported with this product. Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bizarre behavior; bone pain; constipation; decreased sex drive; diarrhea; difficult or painful urination; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; eye redness or irritation; fever; flushing; frequent urination; headache; increased body temperature; increased thirst; irregular heartbeat; loss of appetite; mental or mood changes; metallic taste; muscle pain; nausea; runny nose; sensitivity of the eyes to sunlight; stomach pain or cramps; unexplained weight loss; unusual thinking; vomiting; weakness.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org ), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include dizziness; headache; irregular heartbeat; loss of appetite; mental or mood changes; nausea; stomach pain or cramps; vomiting; weakness.Proper storage of calcitriol:
Store calcitriol between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep calcitriol out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about calcitriol, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Calcitriol is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take calcitriol or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about calcitriol. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to calcitriol. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using calcitriol.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
More calcitriol resources
- calcitriol Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
- Calcitriol Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Calcitriol Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
- Calcitriol Monograph (AHFS DI)
- Calcijex Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Rocaltrol Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Rocaltrol Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information