Calcifediol : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More

Why is this medication prescribed?

Calcifediol is used to treat secondary hyperparathyroidism (a condition in which the body produces too much parathyroid hormone [PTH; a natural substance needed to control the amount of calcium in the blood]) in certain adults with chronic kidney disease (a condition in the that the kidneys stop working slowly and gradually). Calcifediol is in a class of medications called vitamin D analogs. It works by helping the body use more calcium found in food or supplements and by regulating the production of parathyroid hormone.

How should this medicine be used?

Calcifediol comes as an extended-release (long-acting) capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day before going to bed. Take calcifediol at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you do not understand. Take calcifediol exactly as directed. Do not take more or less, or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Swallow the extended-release capsules whole; do not chew or crush them.

Your doctor may increase or adjust your dose depending on your body’s response to calcifediol.

Other uses for this medicine

Calcifediol is also sometimes used to treat osteomalacia (weakening and softening of the bones) due to liver disease. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this drug for your condition.

This medicine may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking calcifediol,

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to calcifediol, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in calcifediol extended-release capsules. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: clarithromycin (Biaxin, in Prevpac); cholestyramine; digoxin (Lanoxin); itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox); ketoconazole; HIV or AIDS medications, including atazanavir (Reyataz, in Evotaz), indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra, in Viekira Pak), and saquinavir (Invirase); nefazodone; phenobarbital; phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek); telithromycin (Ketek); thiazide diuretics (“water pills”). or voriconazole (Vfend). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you closely for side effects. Many other medications can also interact with calcifediol, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
  • Tell your doctor if you are being treated with dialysis (medical treatment to clean the blood when the kidneys are not working properly) or if you have or have ever had high levels of calcium in your blood.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking calcifediol, call your doctor.
  • If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking calcifediol.
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What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Calcifediol may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • joint pain

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • feeling tired, difficulty thinking clearly, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, constipation, increased thirst, increased urination, or weight loss
  • shortness of breath
  • pale skin
  • fracture

Calcifediol may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medicine.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit a report online to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. Store at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).

Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in special ways to ensure they cannot be consumed by pets, children, and others. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medications is through a drug take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage / recycling department to find out about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA Safe Drug Disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

It is important to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children, since many containers (such as those containing weekly pills and those for eye drops, creams, patches and inhalers) are not resistant to children and small children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately place the medicine in a safe place, one that is upright and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org

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In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or cannot wake up, immediately call 911 for emergency services.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • constipation
  • decreased appetite
  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • muscle weakness
  • vomiting

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain laboratory tests to check your body’s response before you start taking calcifediol, 3 months after starting treatment or if the dose has been changed, and then at least every 6 to 12 months.

Do not let anyone else take your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should take this list with you every time you visit a doctor or if you go into hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.

Brand Names

  • Rayaldee®

Disclaimer: DrLinex has made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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