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Calcium citrate

Generic Name: calcium citrate (KAL see um SIT rayt)
Brand Name: Citracal, Cit Calcium (obsolete), Citracal Liquitab, Calcitrate

Medically reviewed on December 13, 2017.

What is calcium citrate?

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 citrate is used to prevent and to treat calcium deficiencies.

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

Important Information

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take this medicine if you have ever had:

  • kidney disease;

  • kidney stones;

  • cancer;

  • a parathyroid gland disorder; or

  • high levels of calcium in your blood.

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

How should I take calcium citrate?

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.

You may take calcium citrate with or without food.

Swallow the tablet with a full glass of water.

Calcium citrate may be only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes dietary changes. Learn about the foods that contain calcium.

Your calcium citrate dose may need to be adjusted as you make changes to your diet. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely.

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 citrate?

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before taking any multivitamins, mineral supplements, or antacids while you are taking calcium citrate.

Calcium citrate 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 urination;

  • swelling, rapid weight gain; or

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

Common side effects may include:

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.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect calcium citrate?

Calcium citrate can make it harder for your body to absorb certain medicines. If you take other medications, take them at least 2 hours before or 4 to 6 hours after you take calcium citrate.

Other drugs may interact with calcium citrate, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines 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.

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