Alfacalcidol

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Generic Name: Alfacalcidol Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Uses

What is alfacalcidol used for?

Alfacalcidol is commonly used for:

  • Treat and prevent bone conditions that are caused by kidney failure (osteodystrophy).
  • Treat illnesses and abnormalities affecting the parathyroid glands which make a substance called the parathyroid hormone.
  • Correct low levels of calcium in the blood of newborn babies (hypocalcaemia).
  • Treat the softening and deformity of the bones due to lack of calcium (rickets or osteomalacia).

On occasion your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat a condition not on the above list.

How should I take alfacalcidol?

This medication is available as a capsule (oral), drops (oral) or injection (into your vein).

Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it.

Remember to use it at the same time each day – unless specifically told not to by your doctor.

It may take a few days before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.

Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

How do I store alfacalcidol?

Alfacalcidol is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store alfacalcidol in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of alfacalcidol that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush alfacalcidol down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using alfacalcidol?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of alfacalcidol or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
  • You are allergic to other vitamin D analogues; or if you have any other allergies.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

The elderly: alfacalcidol should be used with caution in the elderly as kidney function declines as you grow older and they therefore may be more sensitive to the side effects of this medication.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There isn’t enough information about the safety of using alfacalcidol during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking alfacalcidol.

Side effects

What side effects can occur from alfacalcidol?

Side effects may occur when using this drug, such as:

  • Need to pass water (urine) more often
  • Swelling of any parts of your body
  • Fever with a pain in your side
  • Feel thirsty
  • Dry mouth or a metallic taste in your mouth
  • Feel weak or have pain in your muscles or bones
  • Feel sick
  • Constipation
  • Itching skin
  • Rash
  • Hives (urticaria)

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with alfacalcidol?

Alfacalcidol may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Products that may interact with this drug are:

  • Anticonvulsants: for epilepsy or fits
  • Barbiturates: for sleeping disorders
  • Cardiac glycosides, such as digoxin for heart problems
  • Colestyramine: for lowering your cholesterol level, or to help stop some types of diarrhoea or itching
  • Thiazide diuretics, often called “water tablets”

Does food or alcohol interact with alfacalcidol?

Alfacalcidol may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with alfacalcidol?

Alfacalcidol may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:

  • Hypercalcemia (high levels of calcium in your blood)
  • A condition called calcification (high levels of calcium in your body tissues)
  • Kidney problems such as kidney stones (nephrolithiasis)

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using alfacalcidol.

What is the dose of alfacalcidol for an adult?

Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.

What is the dose of alfacalcidol for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is alfacalcidol available?

Alfacalcidol is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Capsule (oral)
  • Drops (oral)
  • Injection

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of alfacalcidol, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: September 19, 2017 | Last Modified: September 19, 2017

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