Calcitriol

 
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Without a Prescription

Calcitriol is a synthetic form of vitamin D prescribed to treat people on dialysis who have hypocalcemia (abnormally low blood calcium levels) and resulting bone damage. Calcitriol is prescribed to treat low blood calcium levels in people who have hypoparathyroidism (decreased functioning of the parathyroid glands). When functioning correctly, these glands help control the level of calcium in the blood.
Calcitriol is a vitamin D metabolite which is normally produced in the kidneys from its immediate precursor, 25-hydroxycholecalciferol.
Calcitriol is prescribed for hyperparathyroidism ( increased functioning of the parathyroid glands) and resulting bone disorders in people with kidney disease who are not yet on dialysis.
In the normal situation it controls the intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphate and plays an important part in the regulation of bone mineralisation. In chronic renal failure, the kidneys produce insufficient calcitriol and this leads to abnormalities of calcium and phosphate metabolism.
Oral administration of Calcitriol to patients with chronic renal failure compensates for the reduced production of calcitriol. Consequently, intestinal malabsorption of calcium and phosphate and the resulting hypocalcaemia are improved, thereby reversing the signs and symptoms of bone disease.

Calcitriol is prescribed for the treatment of:
- The correction of abnormalities of calcium and phosphate metabolism in renal osteodystrophy;
- Osteoporosis in postmenopausal women;

Side Effects

Calcitriol side effects that you should report to your health care professional or doctor as soon as possible:
- Abdominal pain;
- Abnormal heart beats;
- Allergy to active ingredients;
- Balance problems involving the inner ear;
- Dehydration;
- Disturbances of the gut such as diarrhoea, constipation, nausea, vomiting or abdominal pain;
- Headache;
- High blood calcium level;
- High blood phosphate content;
- High calcium levels in the urine;
- Increased production of urine;
- Indifference/apathy;
- Loss of appetite;
- Paralysis or inactivity of the intestine that stops the movement of material through the gut;
- Sleepiness;
- Sweating;
- Thirst;
- Weakness;

Side effects occurring early may include:
- Weakness;
- Vomiting;
- Nausea;
- Muscle pain;
- Metallic taste;
- Loss of appetite;
- Headache;
- Extreme sleepiness;
- Dry mouth;
- Constipation;
- Bone pain;

Side effects occurring later may include:
- Yellowish skin;
- Weight loss;
- Wasting of muscles or other tissues;
- Urinary tract infections;
- Sensory disturbances;
- Runny nose;
- Nighttime urination;
- Loss of appetite;
- Kidney problems;
- Itchy skin;
- Irregular heartbeat;
- Intolerance to light;
- Inflamed eyes;
- High blood pressure;
- Extremely high body temperature;
- Excessive urination;
- Elevated blood cholesterol levels;
- Dehydration;
- Decreased sex drive;
- Arrested growth;
- Apathy;
- Abnormal thirst;

Excessive amounts of Vitamin D may cause abnormally high calcium levels in the blood.

Dosage

CHILDREN

For Children not yet on Dialysis

For children less than 3 years old, the daily starting dose is 10 to 15 nanograms per 2.2 pounds of body weight.
The recommended starting dose for children 3 years and older is 0.25 microgram a day, increased to 0.5 microgram if necessary.

For Low Calcium Levels Due to Hypoparathyroidism

For most children 6 years and older, doses ranging from 0.5 to 2 micrograms per day are effective.
The starting dose is 0.25 microgram, taken in the morning.
Doses have not been established for hypoparathyroidism in infants under 1 year, or for pseudohypoparathyroidism (a special form of the disorder) in children under 6.
Children from 1 to 5 years old are usually given 0.25 to 0.75 microgram a day.

ADULTS

For Low Calcium Levels Due to Hypoparathyroidism

The suggested beginning dose is 0.25 microgram daily, taken in the morning.
Your doctor may increase the dose at 2 to 4 week intervals.

For most adults, regular doses ranging from 0.5 to 2 micrograms daily are effective.

For People on Dialysis

Your doctor may increase the dose by 0.25 microgram daily at 4 to 8 week intervals if needed.
The suggested beginning dose is 0.25 microgram daily.
Most people on dialysis require a dose of 0.5 to 1 microgram a day.

People with normal or only slightly low blood calcium levels may find it helpful to take 0.25 microgram every other day.

For People Not Yet on Dialysis

The recommended starting dose is 0.25 microgram a day, increased to 0.5 microgram if necessary.
Without Prescription (2017)