What is Rocaltrol® (calcitriol) used for?
Rocaltrol® is a form of Vitamin D. It works by managing low blood calcium levels in patients who are on chronic kidney dialysis. Also, it is used for other conditions as determined by your doctor such as high or low parathyroid hormone levels, promoting proper absorption, use of calcium and phosphate by the body in the normal bone development and maintenance.
How should I take Rocaltrol® (calcitriol)?
Take Rocaltrol® by mouth with or without food, usually once daily or as directed by your doctor. If you are using the liquid form, measure your dose with a special measuring spoon or device. Do not use a normal household spoon since you may not get the correct dose.
Do not take mineral oil or antacids containing magnesium with Rocaltrol®. These can reduce the effects of Rocaltrol®.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Rocaltrol®.
How do I store Rocaltrol® (calcitriol)?
Rocaltrol® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Rocaltrol® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Rocaltrol® 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 Rocaltrol® 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 Rocaltrol® (calcitriol)?
Do not use Rocaltrol® if:
- You are allergic to any ingredient in Rocaltrol®.
- You have high levels of vitamin D or calcium in the blood.
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
There isn’t enough information about the safety of using Rocaltrol® during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication.
What side effects can occur from Rocaltrol® (calcitriol)?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction such as hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using Rocaltrol® and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect including:
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
- Dry mouth
- Increased thirst
- Metallic taste in your mouth
- Urinating more than usual
- Fast, slow, or uneven heart rate
- Changes in behavior
- Muscle pain, bone pain, muscle weakness
- Loss of height
- Slow growth (in a child taking Rocaltrol®)
- Severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
What drugs may interact with Rocaltrol® (calcitriol)?
Rocaltrol® 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 may interact with this drug including:
- Thiazide diuretics (e.g., hydrochlorothiazide), because the risk of high blood calcium levels may be increased.
- Digoxin, because the risk of irregular heartbeat may be increased.
- Antacids containing magnesium, because high blood magnesium levels may occur.
- Barbiturates (e.g., phenobarbital), cholestyramine, corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone), hydantoins (e.g., phenytoin), or ketoconazole, because they may decrease effectiveness of Rocaltrol®.
Does food or alcohol interact with Rocaltrol® (calcitriol)?
Rocaltrol® 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 Rocaltrol® (calcitriol)?
Some health conditions may interact with Rocaltrol®. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any health conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- If you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement.
- If you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances.
- If you have heart disease, kidney disease or kidney stones, hardening of the arteries or other blood vessel problems, or a high phosphate level in the blood.
- If you are dehydrated, have recently had surgery, or will be confined to a bed or chair for a long period of time.
- If you take a phosphate-binding medicine (e.g., calcium acetate).
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Rocaltrol® (calcitriol).
What is the dose of Rocaltrol® (calcitriol) for an adult?
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Your doctor may start you on a low dose and adjust the dose slowly to find the best dose for you. Follow your doctor’s directions carefully. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it.
Rocaltrol® can be administered orally either as a capsule (0.25 mcg or 0.50 mcg) or as an oral solution (1 mcg/ml).
Rocaltrol® therapy should always be started at the lowest possible dose and should not be increased without careful monitoring of serum calcium.
The effectiveness of Rocaltrol® therapy is predicated on the assumption that each patient is receiving an adequate but not excessive daily intake of calcium. Patients are advised to have a dietary intake of calcium at a minimum of 600 mg daily. The U.S. RDA for calcium in adults is 800 mg to 1200 mg. To ensure that each patient receives an adequate daily intake of calcium, the physician should either prescribe a calcium supplement or instruct the patient in proper dietary measures.
Because of improved calcium absorption from the gastrointestinal tract, some patients on Rocaltrol® may be maintained on a lower calcium intake. Patients who tend to develop hypercalcemia may require only low doses of calcium or no supplementation at all.
What is the dose of Rocaltrol® (calcitriol) 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 Rocaltrol® (calcitriol) available?
Rocaltrol® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
- Rocaltrol® tablet 0.25mcg
- Rocaltrol® tablet 0.5 mcg
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 Rocaltrol®, 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: December 21, 2016 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019
Rocaltrol. https://www.drugs.com/cdi/rocaltrol.html. Accessed October 29, 2016
Rocaltrol. http://www.rxlist.com/rocaltrol-drug/indications-dosage.htm. Accessed October 29, 2016
Rocaltrol. http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-7447/rocaltrol-oral/details. Accessed October 29, 2016