calcitriol (Rocaltrol)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

View the Fat-Fighting Foods Slideshow

GENERIC NAME: calcitriol

BRAND NAME: Rocaltrol

DISCONTINUED BRAND: Calcijex

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Calcitriol is a synthetic (man-made) active form of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). It is used to treat and prevent low levels of calcium in the blood of patients who have kidney disease or problems with their parathyroid gland, the gland that controls the amount of calcium in blood through its secretion of parathyroid hormone.

Calcium plays an important role in maintaining bone health, and low levels of calcium may cause bone disease. Calcitriol increases blood levels of calcium by increasing the absorption of calcium in the kidneys, increasing the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the intestine, and increasing the release of calcium and phosphorus from the bones. Calcitriol helps the body to use calcium found in foods and supplements.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Calcitriol is used to treat and prevent low levels of calcium in the blood of patients whose kidneys or parathyroid glands are not working normally.

Calcitriol may also be used to treat rickets (a condition that causes softening or weakening of bones in children) usually due to a deficiency of dietary calcium, osteomalacia (a condition that causes softening or weakening of bones in adults and can be due to deficiencies of calcium or phosphate or excess parathyroid hormone), and familial hypophosphatemia (bone disease in children or adults caused by a decreased ability by the kidney to reabsorb phosphate from the urine.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/7/2015

Quick GuidePortion Control Tips: Lose Weight and Stick to Your Diet

Portion Control Tips: Lose Weight and Stick to Your Diet
FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

RxList Logo

Need help identifying pills and medications?

Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Weight Loss/Healthy Living Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors