- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
- What Else to Know
Generic Name: calcium acetate
Drug Class: Calcium Salts; PO4 Scavengers; Urea Cycle Disorder Treatment Agents
What is calcium acetate, and what is it used for?
Calcium acetate is a medication used to reduce blood phosphate levels (hyperphosphatemia), a complication associated with advanced kidney disease. Patients with end-stage renal disease are prone to phosphate retention, which causes secondary hyperparathyroidism, leading to renal osteodystrophy, a bone disease, and calcification of soft tissue.
Treatment for hyperphosphatemia includes a reduction in dietary intake of phosphate and removal of phosphate with efficient dialysis methods. In addition, calcium acetate is used to eliminate any phosphate absorbed from food. When taken with meals, calcium acetate binds to dietary phosphate to form insoluble calcium phosphate that cannot be absorbed by the body, which is then excreted in the stools.
- Do not use calcium acetate in patients with:
- Calcium acetate can cause gas, bloating and constipation.
- Use with caution in patients who are at risk for irregular heart rhythms or those taking digitalis, calcium acetate may precipitate arrhythmia.
- Treatment with calcium acetate can cause hypercalcemia in patients with end-stage renal disease. Avoid concurrent use of calcium supplements.
- Monitor calcium levels twice weekly, in the early phase of treatment and when adjusting dosage, because overdosing may lead to progressive hypercalcemia. If the patient develops hypercalcemia, reduce dosage or discontinue calcium acetate, depending on the severity. In addition, decrease or discontinue any concomitant vitamin D therapy.
- Chronic hypercalcemia can lead to calcification of soft tissue and blood vessels.
- Advise patients to reduce intake of oxalate-rich foods to avoid calcium-oxalate formation.
- Calcium administration interferes with the absorption of some minerals and drugs, use with caution.
- Oral solution contains maltitol, a sugar substitute, which may have a laxative effect.
- Some formulations may contain propylene glycol which can be toxic in large amounts.
What are the side effects of calcium acetate?
Common side effects of calcium acetate include:
- Mild hypercalcemia with symptoms that may include:
- Severe hypercalcemia with symptoms such as:
- Itching (pruritus)
- Swelling (edema)
- Low magnesium levels in blood (hypomagnesemia)
- Low phosphate levels in blood (hypophosphatemia)
- Irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms or serious side effects while using this drug:
- Serious heart symptoms include fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, shortness of breath, and sudden dizziness;
- Severe headache, confusion, slurred speech, severe weakness, vomiting, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady;
- Severe nervous system reaction with very stiff muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, and feeling like you might pass out; or
- Serious eye symptoms include blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights.
This is not a complete list of all side effects or adverse reactions that may occur from the use of this drug. Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may also report side effects or health problems to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What are the dosages of calcium acetate?
- 667 mg (169 mg elemental Ca)
- 667 mg/5 mL (169 mg/5 mL elemental Ca)
Hyperphosphatemia in End Stage Renal Failure (On Dialysis)
- Initial: 2 capsules (1334 mg) orally with each meal
- Increase dose to bring serum phosphate value below 6 mg/dL as long as hypercalcemia does not develop
- Usual Dose: 3-4 capsules (2001-2868 mg) orally with each meal
- Do not give additional calcium supplements
- Safety and efficacy not established
- Overdose of calcium acetate can increase blood calcium levels excessively and lead to hypercalcemia. Symptoms of mild hypercalcemia include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and constipation, while severe hypercalcemia can cause confusion, full or partial loss of consciousness and incoherent speech.
- Treatment of calcium acetate overdose includes discontinuation of calcium acetate and measures to eliminate excess calcium from the blood by increasing excretion in urine, or with hemodialysis in patients with heart failure or kidney insufficiency.
What drugs interact with calcium acetate?
Inform your doctor of all medications you are currently taking, who can advise you on any possible drug interactions. Never begin taking, suddenly discontinue, or change the dosage of any medication without your doctor’s recommendation.
- Severe interactions of calcium acetate include:
- Serious interactions of calcium acetate include:
- Calcium acetate has moderate interactions with at least 54 different drugs.
- Calcium acetate has mild interactions with at least 5o different drugs.
The drug interactions listed above are not all of the possible interactions or adverse effects. For more information on drug interactions, visit the RxList Drug Interaction Checker.
It is important to always tell your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider about all prescription and over-the-counter medications you use, as well as the dosage for each, and keep a list of the information. Check with your doctor or healthcare provider if you have any questions about the medication.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
- There are no animal reproductive studies or adequate and well-controlled studies of calcium acetate use in pregnant women.
- Calcium acetate treatment as recommended is not expected to harm the fetus if maternal calcium levels are monitored and maintained at normal levels during and after the treatment.
- Hypercalcemia during pregnancy can increase the risks for complications such as stillbirth, preterm delivery, and neonatal hypocalcemia and hypoparathyroidism.
- Calcium acetate is excreted in breast milk, however, it is not expected to harm the breastfed infant if normal calcium levels are maintained in the nursing mother.
What else should I know about calcium acetate?
- Take calcium acetate with meals exactly as prescribed.
- Adhere to your prescribed diet and avoid oxalate rich foods such as soy, green leafy vegetables and animal protein.
- Avoid taking calcium supplements including over-the-counter (OTC) antacids.
- Inform your physician if you experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, constipation or loss of appetite.
- Store safely out of reach of children.
- In case of overdose, contact your physician or Poison Control.
Calcium acetate is a medication used to reduce blood phosphate levels (hyperphosphatemia), a complication associated with advanced kidney disease. Common side effects of calcium acetate include hypercalcemia, itching (pruritus), swelling (edema), dizziness, weakness, headache, low magnesium levels in blood (hypomagnesemia), low phosphate levels in blood (hypophosphatemia), irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia), and low blood pressure (hypotension).
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Kidney Disease Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Kidney disease is common. Take this kidney disease quiz to test your knowledge and learn the symptoms, causes and types of kidney...
Picture of Renal Artery Stenosis
Narrowing of the major artery that supplies blood to the kidney. See a picture of the Renal Artery Stenosis and learn more about...
Related Disease Conditions
Kidney (Renal) Failure
Kidney failure can occur from an acute event or a chronic condition or disease. Prerenal kidney failure is caused by blood loss, dehydration, or medication. Some of the renal causes of kidney failure include sepsis, medications, rhabdomyolysis, multiple myeloma, and acute glomerulonephritis. Post renal causes of kidney failure include bladder obstruction, prostate problems, tumors, or kidney stones.Treatment options included diet, medications, or dialysis.
How Long Can You Live With Stage 5 Kidney Disease?
Although the lifespan of stage 5 kidney disease depends on certain factors, the average length of time a patient lives ranges from 5-10 years.
Hypertension-Related Kidney Disease
Second Source WebMD Medical Reference
What Are the Most Common Kidney Diseases?
The most common type of kidney disease is chronic kidney disease (CKD). Other diseases include acute kidney injury, stones, infections, cysts, and cancer.
Can You Live With Stage I Kidney Disease?
Because you can halt further kidney damage with diet modification and supportive treatment, patients can live an extra 30 years following their stage I CKD diagnosis.
Renal Artery Stenosis
Renal artery stenosis is a narrowing of the diameter of the renal arteries. When the renal arteries narrow, the result is restricted blood flow to the kidneys, which may lead to impaired kidney function and high blood pressure (referred to as renovascular hypertension (RVHT). Renal artery stenosis can occur in one or both kidneys. The primary cause of renal artery stenosis is atherosclerosis. Symptoms of renal artery stenosis include high blood pressure that does not respond to treatment and severe high blood pressure in individuals younger than 30 or greater than 50 years of age. Renal artery stenosis is diagnosed with imaging and functional tests. Treatment for renal artery stenosis include medication or surgery.
What Does 3b Mean in Kidney Disease?
In stage 3b kidney disease, eGFR is between 30-44 mL/min. Symptoms and signs may include back pain, swollen hands and feet, abnormal urination, hypertension, and anemia.
What Are the Symptoms of Adrenal Burnout?
Adrenal burnout refers to a group of symptoms that includes insomnia, brain fog, fatigue, anxiety, and depression. Check out the center below for more medical references on hormone disorders, including multimedia (slideshows, images, and quizzes), related disease conditions, treatment and diagnosis, medications, and prevention or wellness.
Hypertension-Induced Chronic Kidney Disease
Hypertension-induced chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a long-standing kidney condition that develops over time due to persistent or uncontrolled high blood pressure (hypertension).
What Are the 3 Types of Acute Renal Failure?
Acute renal failure (ARF) can be divided into three main types: perennial, renal, and postrenal.
Signs of a Kidney Disease
Most of the signs of kidney diseases are unnoticed, ignored, or appear very late in the disease. Over 37 million American adults have kidney diseases, and most are not aware of it.
Why Are Calcium Levels Low in Renal Failure?
Renal failure usually causes calcium imbalance. During renal failure, the kidneys may no longer filter out extra phosphorus and remove it from the body or from urine. Over time, phosphorus may increase in the blood. Calcium and phosphorous usually keep each other in check.
What Are the 5 Stages of Chronic Kidney Disease?
The doctor will take your complete medical history along with your family history, such as if anyone in your family has or had diabetes, whether you are on any medications (that can cause kidney damage), and so on. They will perform a thorough physical examination to see if you have any signs or symptoms of chronic kidney disease (CKD).
What Is the Best Kidney Disease Treatment?
There is no cure for chronic kidney disease, but treatment can help relieve the symptoms and prevent them from worsening. Here are the five best treatments for kidney disease.
How Long Can a Person Live With Stage 1 Kidney Disease?
Chronic kidney disease means your kidneys aren't working as well as they should. It's possible to live for many years with kidney disease.
How Do You Fix Adrenal Fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue is not a recognized medical diagnosis but a theory that links chronic stress exposure to adrenal insufficiency and adrenal exhaustion. You can fight adrenal fatigue naturally with diet, exercise, and sleep. Check out the center below for more medical references on fatigue, including multimedia (slideshows, images, and quizzes), related diseases, treatment, diagnosis, medications, and prevention or wellness.
What Are the Symptoms of Stage IV Kidney Disease?
Stage IV kidney disease occurs when your estimated eGFR falls to 15-19 mg/mL, indicating severe loss of kidney function. Learn about symptoms and stages.
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
Chronic kidney disease (CKD), or chronic kidney failure, is slow and progressive loss of kidney function over several years. CKD is a long-term condition where the kidneys do not work effectively.
Can Stage 1 Kidney Disease Be Cured?
Stage 1 kidney disease causes mild damage to your kidneys. Kidney disease cannot be cured.
What Is Renal Colic?
Renal colic is pain that occurs when kidney stones form the urinary tract. As your body tries to expel these stones, you may experience intermittent spasmodic contractions.
What Is Open Adrenalectomy?
Adrenalectomy is a surgical procedure of removing one or both adrenal glands from the body.
What Happens When You Have Hyperparathyroidism?
If you have hyperparathyroidism, it means that one or more of the parathyroid glands are overactive, resulting in the overproduction of the parathyroid hormone (PTH). Parathyroid hormones in excess can lead to an increase in the calcium levels in the blood (hypercalcemia).
What Is the Most Common Type of Renal Cell Carcinoma?
Clear cell carcinoma is the most common type of renal cell carcinoma, which accounts for 75 to 85 percent of all RCC cases.
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter
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.