Calcitriol - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Calcitriol: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What is Calcitriol?

Calcitriol, also known as 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol, is an active form of vitamin D typically formed in the kidney. It helps the body absorb calcium from the stomach. The drug is used to treat low calcium levels and bone diseases when the parathyroid glands or kidneys are not working normally.

Calcitriol is used to treat conditions such as hyperparathyroidism.

What are the uses of Calcitriol?

Calcitriol is a biologically active artificial form of vitamin D. It is used to treat conditions like metabolic bone disease in people with chronic kidney failure and hyperparathyroidism (overactive parathyroid glands).

Calcitriol is also used to prevent and treat certain calcium/phosphorus/parathyroid problems resulting from long-term kidney dialysis. Calcitriol is usually used along with specific diet recommendations.

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What are the side effects of Calcitriol?

Some common side effects of taking Calcitriol are:

  • Sleepiness.
  • Frequent urination.
  • Weight loss.
  • Increased thirst.
  • Itching.

Other side effects include: 

  • Abdominal pain.
  • Bone and muscle pain.
  • Lower back pain.
  • Cardiac arrhythmia.
  • Constipation.
  • Decreased libido.
  • Dehydration.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Headache.
  • High blood calcium (hypercalcemia).
  • High blood magnesium (hypermagnesemia). 
  • High blood pressure (hypertension).

As a precaution, check in with your physician if you feel these or any other symptoms on taking the drug.

S.no Product Name Dosage Form
1. Rocaltrol Calcitriol 0.25mcg Capsule
2. Laretol Calcitriol 0.25mcg Capsule
3. BIO -D3 Calcitriol 0.25mcg Capsule
4. Active -D Calcitriol 0.25mcg Capsule
5. Laretol Calcitriol 1mcg Injection


Frequently Asked Questions about Calcitriol

1. What does Calcitriol do?

Calcitriol is a synthetic form of vitamin D that helps the body use calcium found in foods and supplements and absorbs calcium in the kidneys. Calcitriol increases blood levels of calcium, and absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the intestine, while also increasing the release of both minerals from the bones.

2. Does Calcitriol increase blood calcium levels?

Yes. Calcitriol is an activated form of vitamin D. The body can therefore readily absorb it. Calcitriol helps the body better utilize calcium found in foods and supplements. Calcitriol increases blood levels of calcium, increases absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the intestine, and increases the release of both minerals from the bones.

3. Is Calcitriol a steroid?

Yes. Calcitriol, which is bioactive vitamin D, is a steroid hormone that helps regulate levels of calcium and phosphorus in the body as well as mineralization of the bone. Vitamin D is not a vitamin in the true sense as it can be synthesized internally through ultraviolet exposure of the skin. It is therefore considered a steroid hormone.

Consult a physician regarding the dosages and precautions of Calcitriol.

4. How long does Calcitriol take to work?

Calcitriol should start working within a day or two from when the dosage begins, but results may take several weeks to show. When taking the drug, it is recommended that you stop taking other calcium supplements.

5. Can you take Calcitriol and vitamin D together?

Calcitriol is a synthetic form of vitamin D. It is thus very similar to other forms of vitamin D. Therefore, it is not recommended that you use medications containing forms of vitamin D or calcium while on Calcitriol. Drugs like Cholestyramine and Orlistat can negatively impact how your body absorbs Calcitriol.

6. Does Calcitriol have calcium in it?

No. However, Calcitriol belongs to a class of medications called vitamin D analogs and treats calcium deficiency. It works by helping the body use more of the calcium found in foods. It helps to regulate the production of parathyroid hormone in the body.

7. Is Calcitriol a phosphate binder?

Calcitriol has a positive effect on phosphate absorption and reabsorption. Calcitriol is a form of vitamin D and is used to treat conditions such as hyperthyroidism. It also helps to regulate the body’s synthesis of parathyroid hormone. Consult a medical expert before taking Calcitriol.

8. Does Calcitriol affect kidneys?

Calcitriol is a crucial metabolite in maintaining calcium and phosphorus levels. In kidney failure, Calcitriol levels progressively decrease and can result in the development of secondary renal hyperparathyroidism. Therefore, prescribed doses of Calcitriol are recommended for specific medical conditions. Early signs of overdose include headache, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, and constipation.

9. How long does Calcitriol stay in your system?

Calcitriol, also known as 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D3, is an activated form of vitamin D. It has a half-life of about 15 hours. The elimination half-life of Calcitriol after single oral doses is about 5 to 8 hours in normal healthy adults.

Do not stop taking Calcitriol or change dosages without first checking with your doctor.

10. Does Calcitriol make you gain weight?

One of the more common side effects of Calcitriol is weight loss. An activated form of vitamin D, the drug is a key metabolite in maintaining calcium and phosphorus levels.

Do not stop, start, or change the dosage of Calcitriol without first checking with your doctor.

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Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.