Drugs A - Z

Paricalcitol Oral capsule

It is used in patients with chronic renal failure

Generic Name: paricalcitol

Brand Names: Zemplar

What is this medicine?

PARICALCITOL (par i KAL si trole) is a man made form of vitamin D. It is used in patients with chronic renal failure. It helps your body keep the right amount of calcium and phosphorus for healthy bones and teeth.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of the following conditions:
  • liver disease
  • too much calcium, phosphorus, or vitamin D in your blood
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to paricalcitol, vitamin D, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • vitamin D

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • certain antibiotics like clarithromycin, telithromycin
  • certain medicines for seizures like phenobarbital
  • digoxin
  • diuretics
  • grapefruit juice
  • medicines for cholesterol like cholestyramine, colestipol
  • medicines for fungal infections like ketoconazole and itraconazole
  • medicines for HIV called protease inhibitors
  • nefazodone
  • mineral oil
  • orlistat
  • some antacids and vitamins

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. You will need to have important lab work done while you are taking this medicine.

You will need to be on a special diet while you are taking this medicine. Do not take any non-prescription medicines that have vitamin D, phosphorus, or magnesium including antacids, unless directed by your doctor. Take calcium only as directed. The extra supplements can cause side effects.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • bone, muscle pain
  • breathing problems
  • chest pain, irregular heartbeat
  • fever, infection
  • hallucinations
  • increased need to urinate
  • increased thirst
  • numb, tingling pain
  • unexpected weight loss
  • unusual blood pressure
  • unusually weak or tired

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • constipation, diarrhea
  • dry mouth
  • headache
  • loss of appetite
  • metallic taste
  • nausea, vomiting
  • stomach upset
  • trouble sleeping

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.


Last Updated: July 24, 2009
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