RocaltrolRocaltrol (calcitriol) is a synthetic vitamin D analog. The body produces calcitriol when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis. Calcitriol is then converted in the liver to calcidiol. Calcidiol is converted in the kidney to calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D. Rocaltrol is used to treat vitamin D deficiency in people with kidney disease who are not able to take vitamin D by mouth. Rocaltrol is also used to treat low levels of calcium in the blood. Rocaltrol may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide. Important Information You should not use Rocaltrol if you are allergic to calcitriol, or if you have high levels of calcium or vitamin D in your blood. To make sure Rocaltrol is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had: kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis); heart disease, high blood pressure; a bone disorder such as Paget's disease or osteomalacia; a condition that causes low levels of parathyroid hormone (hypoparathyroidism); seizures; or if you take water pills (diuretics). It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine. Calcitriol can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using Rocaltrol. Rocaltrol is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old. How should I take Rocaltrol? Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed. Rocaltrol is injected under the skin. A healthcare provider will give you this injection. Rocaltrol is sometimes given only once every 2 to 4 weeks. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Your doctor will need to check your progress on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled appointments. You may need frequent blood tests. If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using Rocaltrol. Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not freeze. Keep the medicine in the original container it came in. Do not use a disposable needle and syringe only once. Follow any state or local laws about throwing away used needles and syringes. Use a puncture-proof "sharps" disposal container (ask your pharmacist where to get one and how to throw it away). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets. Throw away used needles in a puncture-proof container. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about how to throw away the container. What happens if I miss a dose? Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your injection. What happens if I overdose? Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. What should I avoid while taking Rocaltrol? Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity. Rocaltrol side effects Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have: high levels of calcium in your blood--nausea, vomiting, constipation, increased thirst or urination, muscle weakness, bone pain, confusion, lack of energy, or feeling tired; low levels of calcium in your blood--muscle spasms, muscle cramps, numbness or tingling; kidney stones--pain in your side or lower back, blood in your urine; new or worsening heartburn; increased thirst and urination; swelling, rapid weight gain; or signs of a kidney stone--sudden pain in your side or lower back, painful or difficult urination, blood in your urine, little or no urinating. Common side effects may include: headache, confusion; dizziness; muscle weakness, back pain; increased thirst, increased urination; nausea, vomiting, constipation; or changes in the amount of urine produced. This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. What other drugs will affect Rocaltrol? Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially: any other vitamin D supplement; seizure medicine; heart or blood pressure medicine; a diuretic or "water pill"; or steroid medicine. This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect Rocaltrol, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.
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