What is calcium acetate, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

  • Calcium acetate helps reduce phosphate levels in people with advanced kidney disease.
  • People with advanced kidney failure retain phosphate leading to too much phosphate in their bodies (hyperphosphatemia). High phosphate levels cause hyperparathyroidism, which leads to abnormal bone formation and calcium deposits in tissues.
  • Calcium acetate is a phosphate binder. Calcium acetate, when taken with meals, combines with phosphate in food to form calcium phosphate, which is poorly absorbed into the body and is excreted in the feces.
  • Binding phosphate in the intestines reduces absorption of phosphate into the body.
  • The FDA approved calcium acetate in December 1990.

What are the uses for calcium acetate?

Calcium acetate is used for reducing blood phosphate levels in people with end-stage kidney disease on dialysis who have high phosphate levels.

What brand names are available for calcium acetate?

Phoslo Gelcaps, Eliphos, Phoslyra

Is calcium acetate available as a generic drug?

Yes

Do I need a prescription for calcium acetate?

Yes

What are the side effects of calcium acetate?

Common side effects of calcium acetate include:

Other side effects of calcium acetate include:

Possible serious side effects of calcium acetate include:

Patients who have hypercalcemia should not receive calcium acetate.

Patients with end-stage kidney failure on dialysis may develop hypercalcemia if they take calcium with meals. No other calcium supplements should be used while taking calcium acetate.

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What is the dosage for calcium acetate?

The recommended initial dose of calcium acetate for adult dialysis patients is 2 tablets or capsules with each meal. The dosage may be increased gradually to reduce blood phosphate levels below 6 mg/dl without causing hypercalcemia. Most patients require 3-4 tablets or capsules with each meal.

Which drugs or supplements interact with calcium acetate?

Calcium acetate may decrease the absorption of tetracycline (Sumycin, Actisite, Achromycin V).

Is calcium acetate safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

Calcium acetate may be used safely in pregnant women if calcium levels are monitored and kept within normal limits.

It is not known how much additional calcium is excreted in human milk from using calcium acetate. Calcium is a normal nutritional component of human milk.

What else should I know about calcium acetate?

What preparations of calcium acetate are available?

Tablet or capsule: 667 mg; Oral solution: 667 mg/5 ml.

How should I keep calcium acetate stored?

Calcium acetate should be stored at room temperature, 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).

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Medically Reviewed on 3/19/2019
References
FDA Prescribing Information
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