Generic Name: doxercalciferol (dock sir kal SIH fer all)
Brand Name: Hectorol
What is doxercalciferol?
Doxercalciferol is a synthetic (man-made) form of vitamin D. Vitamin D is important for the absorption of calcium from the stomach and for the functioning of calcium in the body.
Doxercalciferol is used to maintain healthy blood levels of calcium and intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) in people with chronic kidney disease who may also be on dialysis.
Doxercalciferol may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about doxercalciferol?
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.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking doxercalciferol?
You should not take doxercalciferol if you have high levels of vitamin D or calcium in your body.
To make sure doxercalciferol is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
a vitamin D deficiency; or
high levels of calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia).
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Your dose needs may be different during pregnancy.
It is not known whether doxercalciferol passes into breast milk. However, other forms of vitamin D can pass into breast milk and could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while taking doxercalciferol.
Doxercalciferol is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
How should I take doxercalciferol?
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.
Doxercalciferol is usually taken 3 times per week during dialysis. Follow your doctor's instructions.
While using doxercalciferol, you may need frequent blood tests.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.
Doxercalciferol is only part of a complete treatment program that may also include special instructions about the foods you eat and vitamins or mineral supplements you take. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, light, and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of doxercalciferol.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Early signs of overdose may include weakness, muscle or bone pain, constipation, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, or a metallic taste in your mouth.
What should I avoid while taking doxercalciferol?
Avoid using calcium supplements or antacids without your doctor's advice. Use only the specific type of supplement or antacid your doctor recommends.
Doxercalciferol 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.
Stop using doxercalciferol and call your doctor at once if you have:
nausea, vomiting, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss;
increased thirst or urination, or urinating less than usual;
dryness or metallic taste in your mouth;
itching, warmth, redness, tingly feeling;
weakness, drowsiness, lack of energy, tired feeling;
headache, dizziness, confusion, ringing in your ears;
muscle weakness, bone pain; or
irregular heartbeats, feeling nervous or irritable.
Common side effects may include:
feeling short of breath;
general ill feeling.
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)
Doxercalciferol dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Secondary Hyperparathyroidism:
Intravenous dosing for patients on dialysis:
-Intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) over 400 pg/mL: 4 mcg IV 3 times per week at the end of dialysis, or approximately every other day
-iPTH decreased less than 50% AND above 300 pg/mL: increase 1 to 2 mcg every 8 weeks as needed
-iPTH decreased more than 50% AND above 300 pg/mL: maintain previous dose
-iPTH 150 to 300 pg/mL: maintain previous dose
-iPTH below 100 pg/mL: suspend dosing for 1 week, then resume at a dose at least 1 mcg lower
-Doses higher than 18 mcg weekly have not been studied
Oral dosing for patients on dialysis:
-iPTH over 400 pg/mL: 10 mcg orally 3 times per week at the end of dialysis, or approximately every other day
-iPTH decreased less than 50% AND above 300 pg/mL: increase 2.5 mcg every 8 weeks as needed
-iPTH 150 to 300 pg/mL: maintain previous dose
-iPTH below 100 pg/mL: suspend dosing for 1 week, then resume at a dose at least 2.5 mcg lower
Maximum dose: 20 mcg, orally, three times a week
Oral dosing, pre-dialysis, Stage 3 or 4 Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD):
-iPTH over 70 pg/mL (Stage 3 CKD): 1 mcg, orally, once a day
-iPTH over 110 pg/mL (Stage 4 CKD): 1 mcg, orally, once a day
-iPTH over 70 pg/mL (Stage 3 CKD): increase by 0.5 mcg at 2 week intervals, as needed
-iPTH over 110 pg/mL (Stage 4 CKD): increase by 0.5 mcg at 2 week intervals, as needed
-iPTH 35 to 70 pg/mL (Stage 3 CKD): maintain previous dose
-iPTH 70 to 110 pg/mL (Stage 4 CKD): maintain previous dose
-iPTH below 35 pg/mL (Stage 3 CKD): suspend dosing for 1 week, then resume at a dose at least 0.5 mcg lower
-iPTH below 70 pg/mL (Stage 4 CKD): suspend dosing for 1 week, then resume at a dose at least 0.5 mcg lower
Maximum dose: 3.5 mcg orally once a day
-Individualize dosing based on iPTH levels with monitoring of serum calcium and phosphorus.
-Reduce dose or suspend treatment for hypercalcemia, hyperphosphatemia, or a serum calcium times phosphorus product greater than 55 mg(2)/dL(2).
Uses: Treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism in patients with chronic kidney disease on dialysis, or patients with Stage 3 or 4 chronic kidney disease.
What other drugs will affect doxercalciferol?
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:
digoxin (Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps);
a diuretic or "water pill";
mineral oil; or
a vitamin D supplement.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with doxercalciferol, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
More about doxercalciferol
- Other brands: Hectorol
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about doxercalciferol.
- 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: 3.01.
Date modified: January 10, 2017
Last reviewed: July 29, 2016