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Cinacalcet

Generic Name: cinacalcet (sin ah CAL set)
Brand Name: Sensipar

Medically reviewed on July 19, 2017

What is cinacalcet?

Cinacalcet decreases levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH), calcium, and phosphorous in the body.

Cinacalcet is used to treat hyperparathyroidism (overactive functioning of the parathyroid glands) in people who are on long-term dialysis for kidney disease.

Cinacalcet is also used to treat hypercalcemia (high levels of calcium in the blood) in people with cancer of the parathyroid gland, and in people with overactive parathyroid glands that cannot be treated surgically.

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

Important Information

You should not take this medicine if you have low levels of calcium in your blood (hypocalcemia).

Before taking this medicine

You should not use cinacalcet if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • low levels of calcium in your blood (hypocalcemia).

To make sure cinacalcet is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It is not known whether cinacalcet passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are taking this medicine.

Cinacalcet is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I take cinacalcet?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Cinacalcet works best if you take it with food or shortly after eating a meal.

Do not crush or break a cinacalcet tablet. Swallow the pill whole.

To be sure your calcium and phosphorous levels do not get too low, your blood will need to be tested 1 week after you start taking cinacalcet or whenever your dose is changed. You may also need blood tests on a regular basis during treatment.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, light, 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 cinacalcet?

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

Cinacalcet side effects

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

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • numbness or tingly feeling around your mouth;

  • muscle pain, tightness, or contraction;

  • a seizure (convulsions);

  • shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid weight gain;

  • signs of stomach bleeding--bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds; or

  • low levels of calcium in your blood--numbness or tingly feeling around your mouth, fast or slow heart rate, muscle tightness or contraction, overactive reflexes.

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 cinacalcet?

Many drugs can interact with cinacalcet. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide. 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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