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Calcium acetate

Generic Name: calcium acetate (KAL see um AS e tate)
Brand Name: Calphron, Eliphos, PhosLo Gelcap, Phoslyra, PhosLo
Dosage Forms: oral capsule (667 mg); oral liquid (667 mg/5 mL); oral tablet (667 mg)

Medically reviewed by on March 5, 2020. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is calcium acetate?

Calcium is a mineral that is needed for many functions of the body, especially bone formation and maintenance. Calcium can also bind to other minerals such as phosphate, and aid in their removal from the body.

Calcium acetate is used to control phosphate levels to keep them from getting too high in people with kidney failure.

Calcium acetate may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

You should not use calcium acetate if you have high levels of calcium in your blood.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use calcium acetate if you are allergic to it, or if you have high levels of calcium in your blood.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use calcium acetate if you have other medical conditions, especially:

  • if your kidney disease gets worse; or

  • if you also take digoxin (digitalis, Lanoxin).

Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Your dose needs may be different during pregnancy or while you are nursing.

Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.

How should I take calcium acetate?

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

Take this medicine with each meal, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

You may need to keep a food diary to measure how much calcium you are getting in your diet.

You may need frequent medical tests to help your doctor determine how long to treat you with calcium acetate.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking calcium acetate?

Do not take additional calcium supplements unless your doctor has told you to.

Avoid using antacids without your doctor's advice. Use only the specific type of antacid your doctor recommends. Many antacids contain calcium and you could be getting too much of this mineral if you take a calcium antacid with calcium acetate.

Calcium acetate can make it harder for your body to absorb other medicines you take by mouth.

Calcium acetate side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using calcium acetate and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • high levels of calcium in your blood--nausea, vomiting, constipation, increased thirst or urination, muscle weakness, bone pain, confusion, lack of energy, or tired feeling.

Common side effects may include:

  • increased calcium in the blood

  • nausea; or

  • diarrhea.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Calcium acetate dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Hyperphosphatemia:

Initial dose: 1334 mg (2 tablets/capsules, or 10 mL), orally, with each meal
Maintenance dose: 2001 to 2668 mg (3 to 4 tablets/capsules, or 15 to 20 mL) with each meal

-Titrate dose every 2 to 3 weeks until an acceptable serum phosphorous level is reached.

Use: Reduce serum phosphorous levels in patients with end stage renal disease.

What other drugs will affect calcium acetate?

Other drugs may interact with calcium acetate, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.