What is Rayaldee used for?
Medically reviewed by N. France, BPharm. Last updated on March 2, 2021.
Rayaldee (calcifediol) extended-release capsules are used to treat adults with overactive parathyroid glands (hyperparathyroidism) who have stage 3 or 4 chronic kidney disease and low levels of vitamin D (less than 30 ng/ml).
Patients with chronic kidney disease can develop enlarged parathyroid glands that release too much parathyroid hormone (PTH), a condition known as secondary hyperparathyroidism. Secondary hyperparathyroidism causes blood levels of PTH to be too high.
PTH is responsible for controlling how much calcium is in your blood and bones. If blood levels of PTH are too high, as is the case of secondary hyperparathyroidism, it can cause bone disease and also cause calcium deposits to build up in the heart and blood vessels. Secondary hyperparathyroidism can also cause low levels of phosphate, an essential salt found in cells.
Vitamin D is a hormone produced by the kidneys that helps control the amount of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. If your kidneys can no longer make active vitamin D, then a vitamin D analog such as Rayaldee can help.
Rayaldee is a vitamin D analog that enables the body to absorb calcium and phosphorus from the gut, delivering it into the bloodstream. When blood vitamin D levels (known as 25-hydroxyvitamin D) are too low, calcium levels can drop causing the parathyroid glands to release too much PTH. Treatment with Rayaldee helps to reduce the production of PTH and treat secondary hyperparathyroidism.
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Rayaldee. Available from: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2019/208010s005lbl.pdf. [Accessed March 2, 2021].
- DeLuca HF. The metabolism and functions of vitamin D. Adv Exp Med Biol. 1986;196:361-375. doi:10.1007/978-1-4684-5101-6_24.
- American Kidney Fund. Stages for chronic kidney disease. September 29, 2020. Available from: https://www.kidneyfund.org/kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd/stages-of-chronic-kidney-disease/. [Accessed March 2, 2021].
- National Kidney Foundation. Secondary Hyperparathyroidism. March 17, 2017. Available from: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/secondary-hyperparathyroidism. [Accessed March 3, 2021].
- You and Your Hormones - an education resource from the Society for Endocrinology. Hypophosphatemia. April 2017. Available from: https://www.yourhormones.info/endocrine-conditions/hypophosphataemia/. [Accessed March 2, 2021].