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ZEMPLAR 2 MICROGRAMS CAPSULES SOFT

Active substance(s): PARICALCITOL

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Package leaflet:Information for the user
Zemplar 2 micrograms Capsules, Soft
Paricalcitol
Read all of this leaflet carefully before you start taking this medicine because it contains
important information for you.Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.
If you have any further questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
This medicine has been prescribed for you only. Do not pass it on to others. It may harm them,
even if their signs of illness are the same as yours.
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects
not listed in this leaflet. See section 4.
What is in this leaflet:
1.
What Zemplar is and what it is used for
2.
What you need to know before you take Zemplar
3.
How to take Zemplar
4.
Possible side effects
5.
How to store Zemplar
6.
Contents of the pack and further information

1

What Zemplar is and what it is used for

Zemplar is a synthetic form of active vitamin D.
Active vitamin D is required for the normal function of many tissues in the body, including the
parathyroid gland and bones. In people who have normal kidney function, this active form of vitamin
D is naturally produced by the kidneys, but in kidney failure the production of active vitamin D is
markedly reduced. Zemplar therefore provides a source of active vitamin D, when the body cannot
produce enough and helps to prevent the consequences of low levels of active vitamin D, in patients
with kidney disease (Stages 3, 4 and 5) namely high levels of parathyroid hormone which can cause
bone problems.

2

What you need to know before you take Zemplar

Do not take Zemplar
if you are allergic (hypersensitive) to paricalcitol or any of the ingredients of Zemplar (listed in
section 6).
if you have very high levels of calcium or vitamin D in your blood.
Your doctor will be able to tell you if these conditions apply to you
-

Warnings and precautions Before the treatment begins, it is important to limit the amount of
phosphorus in your diet.
Phosphate-binding medicines may be needed to control phosphorus levels. If you are taking
calcium-based phosphate binders, the doctor may need to adjust your dose.
Your doctor will need to do blood tests to monitor your treatment.

In some patients with chronic kidney disease stages 3 and 4, an increase in the blood
levels of a substance called creatinine has been observed. However, this increase does
not reflect a reduction in renal function.

Other medicines and Zemplar
Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other
medicines.
Some medicines can affect the action of Zemplar or make side effects more likely.
It is particularly important to tell your doctor if you are taking ketoconazole (used to treat fungal
infections such as candida or thrush), Cholestyramine (used for lowering cholesterol levels),
medicines for the heart or for blood pressure (e.g. digoxin and diuretics or water pills) or medicines
containing high calcium levels. It is also important to mention if you are taking medicines which
contain magnesium or aluminium e.g. some types of indigestion medicines (antacids) and phosphatebinders.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking any medicine.
Zemplar with food and drink
Zemplar may be taken with or without food.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, think you may be pregnant, or are planning to have a baby, ask
your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking this medicine. There is no adequate data on the use
of paricalcitol in pregnant women. Potential risk in human use is not known, therefore paricalcitol
should not be used unless clearly necessary.
It is not known if paricalcitol passes into human breast milk. Tell your doctor before breast-feeding
while taking Zemplar 2 micrograms.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking any medicines.
Driving and using machines
Zemplar should not affect your ability to drive or use machines.
Zemplar contains ethanol
This medicine contains a small amount of ethanol (an alcohol), less than 100mg per capsule, which
may modify or increase the effect of other medicines. This could be harmful to people who suffer
from liver disease, alcoholism, epilepsy, brain injury, or disease as well as in pregnant or breastfeeding women and children.

3

How to take Zemplar

Always take Zemplar exactly as your doctor has told you. You should check with your doctor or
pharmacist if you are not sure.

Chronic Kidney Disease Stages 3 and 4
The usual dose is one capsule every day, or every other day, up to three times a week. Your doctor
will use the results of your laboratory tests to decide the correct dose for you. Once Zemplar is started,
the dose is likely to need adjusting, depending on how you respond to treatment. Your doctor will
help determine the correct dose of Zemplar for you.

Chronic Kidney Disease Stage 5
The usual dose is one capsule every other day, up to three times a week. Your doctor will use the
results of your laboratory tests to decide the correct dose for you. Once Zemplar is started, the dose is

likely to need adjusting, depending on how you respond to treatment. Your doctor will help
determine the correct dose of Zemplar for you.
Liver disease
If you have mild to moderate liver disease, your dose will not need to be adjusted. However, there is
no experience in patients with severe liver disease.
Renal Transplant
The usual dose is one capsule every day, or every other day, up to three times a week. Your doctor
will use the results of your laboratory tests to decide the correct dose for you. Once Zemplar is started,
the dose is likely to need adjusting, depending on how you respond to treatment. Your doctor will
help determine the correct dose of Zemplar for you.

Use in children and adolescents
There is no information on the use of Zemplar capsules in children
Use in elderly
There is a limited amount of experience of using Zemplar in patients aged 65 years or older. In
general no overall differences in effectiveness or safety were seen between patients aged 65 years or
older and younger patients.
If you take more Zemplar than you should
Too much Zemplar can cause abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood, which can be harmful.
Symptoms which can appear soon after taking too much Zemplar may include a feeling of weakness
and/or drowsiness, headache, nausea (feeling sick) or vomiting (being sick), a dry mouth,
constipation, pains in muscles or bones and a metallic taste in the mouth.
Symptoms which can develop over a longer period of taking too much Zemplar include loss of
appetite, drowsiness, weight loss, sore eyes, a runny nose, itchy skin, feeling hot and feverish, loss of
sex drive and severe abdominal pain (due to an inflamed pancreas) and kidney stones. Your blood
pressure may be affected and heart beat irregularities (palpitations) can occur. The results of blood
and urine tests may show high cholesterol, urea, nitrogen and raised levels of liver enzymes. Zemplar
may rarely cause mental changes including confusion, drowsiness, insomnia or nervousness.
If you take too much Zemplar, or experience any of the above, seek medical advice immediately.
If you forget to take Zemplar
If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your
next dose, do not take the dose that you have missed, simply continue to take Zemplar as previously
directed (dose and time) by your doctor.
Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose.
If you stop taking Zemplar
Unless your doctor tells you to stop your treatment, it is important to keep taking Zemplar as your
doctor has directed.
If you have any further questions on the use of this product, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

4.

Possible side effects

Like all medicines, Zemplar can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.

Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following side effects:

In patients with chronic kidney disease stage 3 and 4
The most common (at least 1 in 100 patients) side effects include: rash and stomach discomfort.

Increase in the blood levels of a substance called calcium, as well as the amount of calcium
times the amount of another substance in the blood called phosphate (in patients with
significant chronic kidney disease) may occur.
Less commonly (at least 1 in 1000 patients), allergic reactions (such as shortness of breath wheezing,
rash, itching or swelling of the face and lips) itchy skin and hives may occur, as well as constipation,
dry mouth, muscle cramps, dizziness and an unusual taste in the mouth. Changes in liver function
tests may also occur.
If you experience an allergic reaction, please contact your doctor immediately.
In patients with chronic kidney disease stage 5
The most common (at least 1 in 100 patients) side effects are diarrhoea, heartburn (reflux or
indigestion), decreased appetite, dizziness, breast pain and acne. Abnormal blood calcium levels can
also occur.
The most common (at least 1 in 100 patients) side effects seen in patients during use of paricalcitol
injection are: headache, unusual taste in the mouth, itching, decreased levels of parathyroid hormone,
increased levels of calcium, and increased levels of phosphorous.
Less common (at least 1 in 1000 patients) side effects seen in patients during use of paricalcitol
injection are: irregular heartbeat, prolonged bleeding, liver function test abnormal, weight loss, heart
stops beating, very fast heartbeat, low white blood cell count, low red blood cell count, swollen
glands, stroke, mini-stroke, coma, fainting, dizziness, twitching, feeling of pins and needles,
numbness, increased pressure in the eyes, pink eye, red eyes, earache, water in the lungs, nose bleed,
shortness of breath, wheezing, cough, low blood flow to the intestines, anal bleeding, upset stomach,
difficulty swallowing, irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhoea, constipation, heartburn, vomiting, nausea,
dry mouth, stomach discomfort, itchy rash, rash, blister, hair loss, hair growth, night sweats, injection
site pain, skin burning sensation, joint pain, muscle pain, back pain, joint stiffness, muscle twitching,
high levels of parathyroid hormone, loss of appetite, decreased appetite, blood infection, pneumonia,
flu, cold, sore throat, vaginal infection, breast cancer, low blood pressure, high blood pressure, chest
pain, abnormal walk, swelling in the legs, swelling, chest discomfort, fever, weakness, pain, tired, not
feeling well, thirsty, feeling abnormal, breast pain, allergy, difficulty having an erection, disturbance
of consciousness, confused, anxious, cannot sleep, nervous, restless.
Reporting of side effects
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects
not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly (see details below).
By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.

United Kingdom:
Yellow Card Scheme at: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard.

Ireland:
HPRA Pharmacovigilance, Earlsfort Terrace, IRL – Dublin 2; Tel: +353 1 6764971; Fax: +353 1
6762517.
Website: www.hpra.ie; E-mail: medsafety@hpra.ie

5.

How to store Zemplar

Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children.
This medicinal product does not require any special storage conditions.
Do not use Zemplar after the expiry date which is stated on the carton and label after abbreviation
EXP used for expiry date. This expiry date refers to the last day of that month.
Do not throw away any medicines via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to
throw awaymedicines you no longer use. These measures will help to protect the environment.

6.

Contents of the pack and further information

What Zemplar contains
-

The active substance is paricalcitol. Each soft capsule contains 2 micrograms of paricalcitol.

-

The other ingredients are: medium chain triglycerides, ethanol, butylhydroxytoluene.
The capsule shell contains: gelatin, glycerol, water, titanium dioxide (E 171), iron oxide red (E
172) and iron oxide yellow (E 172).
The printing ink contains: propylene glycol, black iron oxide (E172), polyvinyl acetate
phthalate, Macrogol 400, ammonium hydroxide.

-

What Zemplar looks like and contents of the pack
Zemplar Capsules, 2 micrograms, is an oval, orange-brown soft capsule imprinted with

and ZF.

Each carton contains either 1 or 4 foil blister packs. Each pack contains 7 capsules.
Marketing Authorisation Holder and Manufacturer
The Marketing Authorisation Holder in the UK is AbbVie Ltd., Abbott House, Vanwall Business

Park, Vanwall Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 4XE, UK.
The Product Authorisation holder in Ireland is AbbVie Limited, Block B, Liffey Valley Office
Campus, Quarryvale, Co. Dublin, Ireland.
Manufacturer: Aesica Queenborough Limited Queenborough, Kent ME11 5EL, United Kingdom
Manufacturer: AbbVie Deutschland GmbH&Co.KG, Knollstrasse, 67061 Ludwigshafen

Germany
This leaflet was last revised in June 2015

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Source: Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. This information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

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