Calcium Carbonate : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More

Why is this medication prescribed?

Calcium carbonate is a dietary supplement that is used when the amount of calcium ingested in the diet is not enough. The body needs calcium for healthy bones, muscles, nervous system, and heart. Calcium carbonate is also used as an antacid to relieve heartburn, acid indigestion, and an upset stomach. It is available with or without a prescription.

This medicine is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How should this medicine be used?

Calcium carbonate comes as tablets, chewable tablets, capsules, and liquid to take by mouth. It is usually taken three or four times a day. Follow the directions on the prescription or package label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you do not understand. Take calcium carbonate exactly as directed. Do not take more or less, or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. When using this medicine as a dietary supplement, take it with or after meals.

The chewable tablets must be chewed completely before swallowing; do not swallow them whole. Drink a full glass of water after taking the regular or chewable tablets or capsules. Some liquid forms of calcium carbonate must be shaken well before use.

Do not take calcium carbonate as an antacid for more than 2 weeks unless your doctor tells you to.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking calcium carbonate,

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to calcium carbonate or any other medications.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially digoxin (Lanoxin), etidronate (Didronel), phenytoin (Dilantin), tetracycline (Sumycin), and vitamins. Do not take calcium carbonate within 1-2 hours after taking other medications. Calcium can make the other medicine less effective.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney or stomach disease.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking calcium carbonate, call your doctor.
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What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you are taking calcium carbonate on a regular schedule, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the one you forgot.

What side effects can this medication cause?

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

  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • stomach pain
  • belching
  • constipation
  • dry mouth
  • increased urination
  • loss of appetite
  • metallic taste

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, is having trouble breathing, or cannot wake up, immediately call 911 for emergency services.

What other information should I know?

If you have been prescribed this medicine, keep all appointments with your doctor so they can check your response to calcium carbonate. Do not let anyone else take your medicine.

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 each 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

  • Alka-Mints®
  • Calel-D®
  • Calcid®
  • Caltrate 600®
  • Chooz®
  • Miralac®
  • Os-Cal 500®
  • Rolaids®
  • Titralac®
  • Tums®

Brand names of combination products

  • Gas-X® with Maalox® (containing Calcium Carbonate, Simethicone)
  • Rolaids® Plus Gas Relief (containing Calcium Carbonate, Simethicone)
  • Titralac® Plus (containing Calcium Carbonate, Simethicone)

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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