What is Rocaltrol?Rocaltrol is a synthetic form of vitamin D used to treat people on dialysis who have abnormally low blood calcium levels (hypocalcemia) and resulting bone damage. Rocaltrol is also prescribed to treat low blood calcium levels in people who have underfunctioning parathyroid glands (hypoparathyroidism). When functioning correctly, these glands help control the level of calcium in the blood. Rocaltrol is also prescribed for people with overfunctioning parathyroid glands (hyperparathyroidism) and for resulting bone disorders in people with kidney disease who are not yet on dialysis.
What is the most important information I should know about Rocaltrol?While you are taking Rocaltrol, your doctor may want you to follow a special diet or take calcium supplements. This is an important part of your therapy. Do not take additional calcium that has not been approved by your doctor. If you are already taking any medications containing calcium or calcium supplements, be sure to tell your doctor.
Your doctor will monitor your calcium levels while you are taking Rocaltrol; excessive calcium levels can be very dangerous. If this problem develops, your doctor will need to stop Rocaltrol therapy temporarily and prescribe a lower dose when treatment resumes.
While taking Rocaltrol, you should have an adequate daily intake of calcium (at least 600 milligrams a day), either from foods or from a calcium supplement. Your doctor will estimate your daily calcium intake before you take Rocaltrol to see if you require more calcium.
Who should not take Rocaltrol?You should not use Rocaltrol if you have high blood levels of calcium or if you have vitamin D poisoning. You should also avoid Rocaltrol if you have ever experienced an allergic reaction to it, or to any similar drug.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Rocaltrol?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Rocaltrol. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have high levels of calcium or vitamin D, or kidney problems.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults: The suggested beginning dose is 0.25 micrograms (mcg) daily. Your doctor may increase the dose by 0.25 mcg daily at 4-8-week intervals if needed. Most people on hemodialysis require a dose of 0.5-1 mcg a day. People with normal or only slightly low blood calcium levels may possibly take 0.25 mcg every other day.
Adults: The suggested beginning dose is 0.25 mcg daily, taken in the morning. Your doctor may increase the dose at 2-4-week intervals. For most adults, regular doses from 0.5-2 mcg daily are effective.
Children ≥6 years: For most children in this age range, doses from 0.5-2 mcg per day are effective.
Children from 1-5 years: The usual dose is 0.25-0.75 mcg a day. Doses have not been established for hypoparathyroidism in infants <1 year or for pseudohypoparathyroidism (a special form of the disorder) in children <6 years.
People Not Yet on Dialysis
Adults and children ≥3 years: The recommended starting dose is 0.25 mcg a day, increased to 0.5 mcg if necessary.
Children <3 years: The daily starting dose is 10-15 nanograms (ng) per 2.2 pounds of body weight.
How should I take Rocaltrol?Be sure to take in enough fluids while taking Rocaltrol.
What should I avoid while taking Rocaltrol?Do not take additional doses of vitamin D while taking Rocaltrol. People who are on dialysis should not take preparations containing magnesium (such as Maalox, an antacid) while taking Rocaltrol. Avoid becoming dehydrated.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Rocaltrol?If Rocaltrol is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Rocaltrol with the following: calcium supplements, cholestyramine, digitalis, ketoconazole, magnesium-containing preparations, phenobarbital, phenytoin, phosphate-binding agents, steroid medications, thiazide diuretics, and vitamin D supplements.
What are the possible side effects of Rocaltrol?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects occurring early due to excessive calcium levels may include: bone pain, constipation, dry mouth, extreme sleepiness, headache, loss of appetite, metallic taste, muscle pain, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, weakness
Side effects occurring later due to excessive calcium levels may include: abnormal thirst, apathy, arrested growth, decreased sex drive, dehydration, elevated cholesterol levels, excessive urination, extremely high body temperature, high blood pressure, inflamed eyes, intolerance to light, irregular heartbeat, itchy skin, kidney problems, loss of appetite, muscle weakness, nighttime urination, runny nose, sensory disturbances, urinary tract infections, weight loss
Excessive amounts of vitamin D may cause abnormally high calcium levels that may require emergency attention.
Can I receive Rocaltrol if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?The effects of Rocaltrol during pregnancy are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant. Rocaltrol may appear in breast milk. Because it may affect a nursing infant, you should not use this medication while you are breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Rocaltrol?If you miss a dose of Rocaltrol, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once. If you are unsure, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
How should I store Rocaltrol?Keep capsules and oral solution at room temperature and away from light.
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