Calcium carbonate Calcium carbonate is a dietary calcium supplement which is used for the treatment of hypocalcemia or low blood calcium levels. It is also used to treat osteoporosis, heartburn, indigestion, and hyperphosphatemia in patients with chronic renal failure. Vitamin D3 Vitamin D3 (also called calcitriol) is used to treat hyperparathyroidism (increased production of the hormones). In patients with chronic kidney failure, calcitriol helps to treat metabolic bone disease and calcium deficiency. It is given during the treatment of rickets disease in children (a bone deformation disorder) which occurs due to vitamin D deficiency.
Mode of drug action
Calcium carbonate Calcium carbonate supplements calcium in the diet. It also prevents the absorption of phosphate from the gastrointestinal tract in people with kidney disease. Vitamin D3 Vitamin D3 is a steroid hormone which binds to the vitamin D receptors and helps in the absorption of calcium.
What are the common side effects?
Calcium carbonate The common side effects of calcium carbonate are constipation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, flatulence, indigestion, increased thirst, and abdominal pain. Calcitriol (Vitamin D3) The common side effects of calcitriol are fatigue, weakness, sleepiness, headache, dry mouth, metallic taste, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, etc. However, these side effects do not occur at the normal doses and are seen in only a few patients.
Pregnancy: Safe under medical guidance Breastfeeding: Safe under medical guidance Alcohol: Unsafe Kidney dysfunction: Caution required Liver dysfunction: Caution required
Special precautions for safe use
• Do not take Shelcal tablets if an allergic reaction has been experienced to any of its ingredients in the past.
• Shelcal should not be used by the patients with extremely high levels of calcium or vitamin D (e.g. parathyroid gland disorders and sarcoidosis).
• Before taking any other drugs along with the Shelcal, inform a doctor to avoid unwanted effects due to the interactions. It is especially important to avoid ceftriaxone due to the risk of damage to lungs and kidneys.
• Shelcal should be taken with caution by people having conditions such as achlorhydria (low stomach acid), hypo or hyperphosphatemia (low or high phosphate levels), hypothyroidism, and poor kidney function.
• Pregnant or breastfeeding women should take Shelcal only with a doctor’s recommendation.
• Do not smoke while taking Shelcal, because it can reduce the absorption of the drug.
• Read the instructions given on the label of Shelcal drug before use.
What else should I know?
1. Is calcium carbonate good for health? Calcium carbonate is a dietary calcium supplement and can be used to treat low blood levels of calcium.
2. Is calcium carbonate used to treat osteoporosis? Osteoporosis occurs due to low calcium levels. Calcium carbonate, a calcium supplement, can help in treating and preventing osteoporosis.
3. Can calcium carbonate be taken with milk? Yes. Consuming foods fortified with vitamin D can enhance calcium absorption. So, you can consume milk, egg yolks, or fish along with the use of calcium carbonate.
4. Can calcium carbonate be taken with food? It is preferable to take calcium carbonate after a meal as acid produced in the stomach during digestion can help in calcium absorption.
5. Is it safe to take calcium carbonate in pregnancy? Calcium carbonate can be used during pregnancy as a calcium supplement. However, it is recommended to consult a doctor before taking the medication. Vitamin D3
1. Can I take antacids while using vitamin D3? Calcitriol or vitamin D3 can interfere with the absorption of some of the antacids. Therefore, take only those antacids which are prescribed by your doctor.
2. What is the dose of calcitriol for adults in the treatment of hyperparathyroidism? The usual initial dose of calcitriol for adults in the treatment of hyperparathyroidism is 0.25 mcg per day, taken orally. This may be later increased to 0.5 mcg later if required.
3. What happens if I forget to take a dose of calcitriol? It is not very harmful and you need not worry. Take the next dose at its scheduled time leaving the missed dose if it is too late.
4. What happens with an overdose of calcitriol? An overdose of calcitriol can lead to some serious side effects such as behavioral changes and needs immediate medical help.
5. How to store calcitriol tablets? Store them in the original package, away from heat, light, moisture, and children.