Commonly Used Brand Name(s)Zemplar
Therapeutic ClassificationsEndocrine-Metabolic Agent
Pharmacologic ClassificationsVitamin D (class)
Paricalcitol is used to treat and prevent hyperparathyroidism in patients with chronic kidney disease who are on dialysis. Hyperparathyroidism is a condition that is caused when the parathyroid glands located in the neck make too much parathyroid hormone (PTH). This hormone controls the concentrations of calcium and phosphorus in your blood. Paricalcitol helps lower the amount of PTH which lowers the calcium and phosphorus concentrations.
This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
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Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.
You may take this medicine with or without food.
Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about any special diet. Do not use vitamin D, phosphate, or calcium supplements, or antacids containing aluminum without asking your doctor.
Your doctor may tell you to limit your dietary intake of phosphate. Foods that are high in phosphate include beans, beer, chocolate, cheese, cola soft drinks, ice cream, milk, nuts, peas, whole grain products, and yogurt.
If you are also taking cholestyramine or mineral oil, do not take it at the same time that you take this medicine. Take paricalcitol capsules at least 1 hour before or 4 to 6 hours after taking cholestyramine or mineral oil.
Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using this medicine.
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For oral dosage form (capsules):
- For hyperparathyroidism in patients with chronic kidney disease:
- Adults—At first, 1 to 2 micrograms (mcg) once a day or 2 to 4 mcg 3 times a week (taken not more than every other day) as directed by your doctor. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed.
- Children 10 to 16 years of age—1 mcg 3 times a week (taken not more than every other day) as directed by your doctor. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed.
- Children younger than 10 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For hyperparathyroidism in patients with chronic kidney disease:
If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Use & StorageTOP
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of paricalcitol in children younger than 10 years of age. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of paricalcitol in the elderly.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical ProblemsTOP
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Bone disease or
- Heart rhythm problems (eg, arrhythmia) or
- Hypercalciuria (high calcium in the urine) or
- Hyperphosphatemia (high phosphate in the blood) or
- Seizures—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Hypercalcemia (high calcium in the blood) or
- Vitamin D overdose—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. Taking other medicines (especially digoxin, Lanoxin®) together with paricalcitol may require your doctor to change the dose of one of the medicines or paricalcitol.
This medicine may increase the calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia). The symptoms of high calcium may include abdominal or stomach pain, confusion, constipation, depression, dry mouth, headache, incoherent speech, increased urination, loss of appetite, metallic taste, muscle weakness, nausea, thirst, unusual tiredness, vomiting, or weight loss. If you have any of these symptoms, check with your doctor immediately.
This medicine may increase the aluminum in your blood and may cause harm to your bones if used in combination with any products containing aluminum (eg, antacids or phosphate binders). Ask your doctor before you take any of these products.