Paricalcitol (By mouth)

Introduction

Paricalcitol (par-i-KAL-si-tol)

Treats and prevents hyperparathyroidism (overactive parathyroid glands) in patients with chronic kidney disease who are on dialysis.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Zemplar

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to paricalcitol, or if you have high levels of calcium or vitamin D in your blood.

How to Use This Medicine

Liquid Filled Capsule

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food.
  • Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about any special diet and use of vitamin and mineral supplements.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using cholestyramine (Questran®), digoxin (Lanoxin®), or nefazodone (Serzone®). Tell your doctor if you are using a medicine to treat an infection (such as clarithromycin, itraconazole, ketoconazole, telithromycin, voriconazole, Biaxin®, Ketek®, Nizoral®, Sporanox®, or Vfend®) or medicine to treat HIV or AIDS (such as atazanavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, Crixivan®, Fortovase®, Invirase®, Norvir®, Reyataz®, or Viracept®).
  • Do not use vitamin D, phosphate, or calcium supplements, or antacids containing aluminum without asking your doctor.
  • Your doctor may tell you to limit your dietary intake of phosphate. Foods that are high in phosphate include beans, beer, chocolate, cheese, cola soft drinks, ice cream, milk, nuts, peas, whole grain products, and yogurt.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have bone disease, heart disease, heart rhythm problems, or seizures.
  • This medicine may increase the calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia). The symptoms of high calcium may include abdominal or stomach pain; confusion; constipation; depression; dry mouth; headache; incoherent speech; increased urination; loss of appetite; metallic taste; muscle weakness; nausea; thirst; unusual tiredness; vomiting; or weight loss. If you have any of these symptoms, check with your doctor immediately.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood or urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate.
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath, or troubled breathing.
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Eye redness, or sensitivity to light.
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet.
  • Severe muscle pain or bone pain.
  • Sudden and severe stomach pain.
  • Sudden weight loss or loss of appetite.
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
  • Uneven heartbeat.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Blurred vision.
  • Diarrhea, constipation, or upset stomach.
  • Dryness or metallic taste in your mouth.
  • Feeling confused, depressed, or nervous.
  • Headache.
  • Mild muscle, joint, or back pain.
  • Rash.
  • Stuffy or runny nose.
  • Unusual weakness or sleepiness.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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