Generic Name: paricalcitol (par-i-KAL-si-tol)
Brand Name: Zemplar
Zemplar is used for:
Preventing and treating high levels of parathyroid hormone in certain patients with chronic kidney disease.
Zemplar is a vitamin D compound. It works by blocking the formation and release of parathyroid hormone (PTH).
Do NOT use Zemplar if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Zemplar
- 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 Zemplar:
Some medical conditions may interact with Zemplar. 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 problems (eg, an irregular heartbeat), hardening or narrowing of the arteries (arteriosclerosis), high blood phosphate levels, liver problems, or seizures
- if you are taking a calcium supplement or a calcium-based phosphate binder (eg, calcium acetate)
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Zemplar. 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
- Aluminum-containing products (eg, antacids, phosphate binders) because the risk of high blood aluminum levels and aluminum bone toxicity may be increased
- Digitalis medicines (eg, digoxin) because the risk of toxicity may be increased by Zemplar
- Clarithromycin, HIV protease inhibitors (eg, ritonavir, saquinavir), imidazole antifungals (eg, ketoconazole, itraconazole), nefazodone, telithromycin, or voriconazole because side effects of Zemplar may be increased
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Zemplar 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 Zemplar:
Use Zemplar as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Zemplar is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using Zemplar at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use Zemplar. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
- Do not use Zemplar if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
- Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
- If you miss a dose of Zemplar, contact your doctor for instructions.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Zemplar.
Important safety information:
- Zemplar may cause dizziness or light-headedness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Zemplar with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Carefully follow the diet instructions given to you by your health care provider, including instructions on vitamin D and phosphorus restrictions and calcium supplementation.
- Before you begin taking any new prescription or nonprescription medicine, including vitamin or mineral products, read the ingredients to see if it has vitamin D, calcium, or phosphorus in it. If it does or if you are not sure, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
- Avoid excessive use of aluminum-containing products (eg, antacids, phosphate binders) while using Zemplar.
- Lab tests, including blood calcium, phosphorus, and PTH levels, may be performed while you use Zemplar. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use Zemplar with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in 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 Zemplar while you are pregnant. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while you are using Zemplar.
Possible side effects of Zemplar:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Diarrhea; dizziness; light-headedness; nausea
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); black, tarry, or bloody stools; chest pain; depression; fainting; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; irregular heartbeat; muscle cramps or spasms; painful urination; pounding in the chest; seizures; severe or persistent dizziness or headache; stomach pain; swelling of the hands or feet; symptoms of high blood calcium levels (eg, constipation, increased thirst or urination, loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, trouble thinking, vomiting, weight loss); trouble breathing; unusual or severe dry eyes, mouth, or skin.
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, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include irregular heartbeat; muscle cramps or spasms; seizures; stomach pain; symptoms of high blood calcium levels (eg, confusion, constipation, increased thirst or urination, loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, trouble thinking, vomiting, weight loss).Proper storage of Zemplar:
Zemplar is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using Zemplar at home, store Zemplar as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider.
- If you have any questions about Zemplar, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Zemplar 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 Zemplar 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 Zemplar. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Zemplar. 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 Zemplar.
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.