Generic name: doxercalciferol [ dox-er-kal-SIF-er-ol ]
Drug class: Vitamins
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Dec 27, 2022.
Uses for doxercalciferol
Doxercalciferol injection is used to treat secondary hyperparathyroidism (overactive parathyroid glands) in patients with chronic kidney disease who are on dialysis. Hyperparathyroidism is a condition that is caused when the parathyroid glands located in the neck make too much parathyroid hormone (PTH). This hormone helps to control the concentrations of calcium and phosphorus in your blood.
This medicine is to be given only by or under the direct supervision of a doctor.
Before using doxercalciferol
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of doxercalciferol injection in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of doxercalciferol injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related liver or heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving this medicine.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Bone disease—Use with caution. May make this condition worse.
- Hypercalcemia (high calcium levels in the blood) or
- Vitamin D overdose—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
Proper use of doxercalciferol
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine in a hospital or dialysis center. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins. It is usually given 3 times a week after your dialysis treatment.
Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about any special diet. Do not use vitamin D, phosphate, or calcium supplements, or antacids or other medicines containing magnesium without asking your doctor.
Use this medicine at least 1 hour before or 4 to 6 hours after taking cholestyramine, mineral oil, or other products that may affect fat absorption.
Precautions while using doxercalciferol
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
This medicine may increase the calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia). Check with your doctor right away if you have confusion, constipation, depression, dry mouth, headache, incoherent speech, increased urination, loss of appetite, metallic taste, muscle weakness, nausea, stomach pain, thirst, unusual tiredness, vomiting, or weight loss.
Adynamic bone disease (low bone turnover) with high risk of fractures may occur while using this medicine. Tell your doctor right away if you have pain or swelling in the arms or legs without any injury.
This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis and angioedema, which can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Check with your doctor right away if you have chest tightness, cough, difficulty swallowing, dizziness, fast heartbeat, hives, itching, skin rash, large, hive-like swelling on face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs, puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue, or unusual tiredness or weakness.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements. Taking other medicines (eg, digoxin, Lanoxin®) together with doxercalciferol may require your doctor to change the dose of this medicine.
Side Effects of doxercalciferol
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Incidence not known
- Blurred vision
- bone pain
- chest tightness
- difficulty swallowing
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
- dry mouth
- fast heartbeat
- heart stops
- hives, itching, skin rash
- incoherent speech
- increased urination
- large, hive-like swelling on face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
- loss of appetite
- metallic taste
- muscle weakness
- no breathing
- no pulse or blood pressure
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the face, lips, of tongue
- stomach pain
- trouble breathing
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- weight loss
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Incidence not known
- Chest discomfort
- pain, itching, redness, or swelling at the injection site
- sensation of skin burning
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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