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Paricalcitol (By mouth)

Paricalcitol (par-i-KAL-si-tol)

Treats and prevents hyperparathyroidism (overactive parathyroid glands) in patients with chronic kidney disease who are on dialysis.

Brand Name(s):

Zemplar

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to paricalcitol, or if you have high levels of calcium or vitamin D in your blood.

How to Use This Medicine:

Liquid Filled Capsule

  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food.
  • Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about any special diet and use of vitamin and mineral supplements.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using cholestyramine (Questran®), digoxin (Lanoxin®), mineral oil, or nefazodone (Serzone®). Tell your doctor if you are using a diuretic or "water pill" (such as hydrochlorothiazide [HCTZ]), medicine to treat an infection (such as clarithromycin, telithromycin, Biaxin®, or Ketek®), medicine to treat a fungal infection (such as itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole, Nizoral®, Sporanox®, or Vfend®), or medicine to treat HIV or AIDS (such as atazanavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, Crixivan®, Fortovase®, Invirase®, Norvir®, Reyataz®, or Viracept®).
  • Do not use vitamin D, phosphate, or calcium supplements, or antacids or binders containing aluminum without asking your doctor.
  • Your doctor may tell you to limit your dietary intake of phosphate. Foods that are high in phosphate include beans, beer, chocolate, cheese, cola soft drinks, ice cream, milk, nuts, peas, whole grain products, and yogurt.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have bone disease, heart disease, heart rhythm problems (such as arrhythmia), or seizures.
  • This medicine may increase the calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia). The symptoms of high calcium may include abdominal or stomach pain; confusion; constipation; depression; dry mouth; headache; incoherent speech; increased urination; loss of appetite; metallic taste; muscle weakness; nausea; thirst; unusual tiredness; vomiting; or weight loss. If you have any of these symptoms, check with your doctor immediately.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blood in the urine, lower back pain, side pain, or sharp back pain just below the ribs.
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate.
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath, or troubled breathing.
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Eye redness, or sensitivity to light.
  • Fast, slow, or pounding heartbeat.
  • Feeling confused, depressed, or nervous.
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet.
  • Severe muscle pain or bone pain.
  • Sudden and severe stomach pain.
  • Sudden weight loss or loss of appetite.
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Blurred vision.
  • Diarrhea, constipation, or upset stomach.
  • Dryness or metallic taste in your mouth.
  • Headache.
  • Mild muscle, joint, or back pain.
  • Rash.
  • Stuffy or runny nose.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Unusual weakness or sleepiness.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 4/4/2014

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