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.

What is the dosage for calcitriol-oral?

  • The recommended initial oral dose for treating low calcium due to kidney dialysis is 0.25 mcg daily.
  • The dose may be increased by 0.25 mcg daily every 4 to 8 weeks.
  • Most patients respond to 0.5 to 1 mcg daily.
  • The oral dose for treating hypoparathyroidism is 0.25 mcg to 2 mcg daily.

Which drugs or supplements interact with calcitriol-oral?

Calcitriol should not be used with other vitamin D products because of the increased risk of additive side effects and toxicity.

Cholestyramine (Questran), colestipol (Colestid), mineral oil, and orlistat (Alli, Xenical) may decrease the intestinal absorption of calcitriol. Separating the administration of these medications and calcitriol may prevent this interaction.

Phenytoin (Dilantin) and phenobarbital (Luminal) may reduce blood concentrations of calcitriol, decreasing treatment effectiveness. Higher doses of calcitriol may be necessary if these drugs are used together with calcitriol.

Thiazide diuretics may increase the blood levels of calcium. Since calcitriol also increases calcium levels, taking these two types of medications together may cause hypercalcemia (abnormally highly levels of calcium).

Calcitriol should be used cautiously in patients taking digoxin (Lanoxin). High levels of calcium may cause symptoms of digoxin toxicity such as irregular heartbeats.

Ketoconazole (Nizoral) may decrease the activity of enzymes responsible for metabolizing or breaking down calcitriol and lead to the side effects of excessive vitamin D.

Magnesium containing medications (for example, antacids) should be avoided in patients undergoing chronic renal dialysis who are taking calcitriol. These patients are at high risk of experiencing hypermagnesemia (high blood levels of magnesium) as their kidneys are unable to remove adequate amounts of magnesium from the blood.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/7/2015

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