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.
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