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calcium carbonate

Pronunciation

Generic Name: calcium carbonate (KAL see um KAR boe nate)
Brand Name: Alcalak, Alka-Mints, Calcium Oyster Shell, Cal-Gest, Caltrate, Icar Prenatal Chewable Calcium, Maalox Quick Dissolve, Maalox Regular Strength, Os-Cal 500, Oysco 500, Oyster Calcium, Oyster Shell Calcium 500, Pepto Children's, Rolaids Soft Chew, Tums, ...show all 60 brand names

What is calcium carbonate?

Calcium is a mineral that is found naturally in foods. Calcium is necessary for many normal 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 carbonate is used to prevent and to treat calcium deficiencies.

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

What is the most important information I should know about calcium carbonate?

Calcium can make it harder for your body to absorb certain medicines. Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with calcium carbonate.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking calcium carbonate?

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take this medicine if you have other medical conditions, especially:

  • a history of kidney stones;

  • a parathyroid gland disorder; or

  • if you are taking an antibiotic.

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 carbonate?

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.

Calcium carbonate works best if you take it with food.

Swallow the calcium carbonate tablet or capsule with a full glass of water.

The chewable tablet should be chewed before you swallow it.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Use the calcium carbonate powder as directed. Allow the powder to dissolve completely, then consume the mixture.

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 carbonate?

Follow your healthcare provider's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Calcium carbonate 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.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • little or no urinating;

  • swelling, rapid weight gain; or

  • high levels of calcium in the blood--nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite, constipation, increased thirst or urination, muscle pain or weakness, joint pain, confusion, and feeling tired or restless.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea or vomiting;

  • constipation.

  • decreased appetite;

  • dry mouth or increased thirst; or

  • urinating more than usual.

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 carbonate dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Hypocalcemia:

Recommended dose: 1250 mg orally 2 to 3 times a day with meals

Use: Prevention of calcium deficiency

Usual Adult Dose for Dyspepsia:

Chewable Tablets:
-Recommended dose: 1000 to 3531 mg orally up to 4 times a day as needed
-Maximum dose: 6750 to 7500 mg/day
-Duration of therapy: Up to 2 weeks

Gum:
Recommended dose: 500 mg (1 piece) orally every 2 to 4 hours as needed
Maximum dose: 6000 mg/day (12 pieces/day)
Duration of therapy: Up to 2 weeks

Liquid:
Recommended dose: 1250 mg orally as needed for symptoms
Maximum dose: 7500 mg/day
Duration of therapy: Up to 2 weeks

Powder Packets:
Recommended dose: 1000 mg (1 packet) orally as needed for symptoms
Maximum dose: 8000 mg/day (8 packets/day)
Duration of therapy: Up to 2 week

Comment:
-This drug should only be used for 2 weeks except under the supervision of a healthcare provider.

Use: Relief of upset stomach due to heartburn, acid indigestion, and/or sour stomach

Usual Pediatric Dose for Dyspepsia:

Chewable Tablets:
2 to 5 years OR 24 to 47 pounds:
-Recommended dose: 400 mg orally up to 3 times a day as needed
-Maximum dose: 1200 mg/day
-Duration of therapy: Up to 2 weeks

6 to 11 years OR 48 to 95 pounds:
-Recommended dose: 800 mg orally up to 3 times a day as needed
-Maximum dose: 2400 mg/day
-Duration of therapy: Up to 2 weeks

12 years and older:
-Recommended dose: 1000 to 2000 mg orally up to 3 times a day as needed
-Maximum dose: 7500 mg/day
-Duration of therapy: Up to 2 weeks

Granule Formulations:
2 to 5 years OR 24 to 47 pounds:
-Recommended dose: 375 mg orally up to 2 times a day as needed

6 to 11 years OR 48 to 95 pounds:
-Recommended dose :750 mg orally once a day as needed
-Duration of therapy: Up to 2 weeks

Gum:
12 years and older:
-Recommended dose: 500 mg (1 piece) orally every 2 to 4 hours as needed
-Maximum dose: 6000 mg/day (12 pieces/day)
-Duration of therapy: Up to 2 weeks

Comments:
-Weight-based dosing is preferred for pediatric patients.
-This drug should only be used for 2 weeks except under the supervision of a healthcare provider.
-Once opened, granule packets should be used within 2 weeks.

Use: Relief of upset stomach due to heartburn, acid indigestion, sour stomach, and/or overindulgence in food/drink

What other drugs can affect calcium carbonate?

Other drugs may interact with calcium carbonate, 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.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about calcium carbonate.
  • 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.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.03.

Date modified: July 02, 2017
Last reviewed: December 14, 2016

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