Rocaltrol or generic Calcitriol is a form of vitamin D that your doctor may prescribe for treating and/or preventing low levels of calcium in your blood due to kidney disease or your parathyroid glands have stopped working properly. Vitamin D is important for controlling the parathyroid hormones and to regulate levels of calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
Those with kidney disease are unable to make the active form of vitamin D that they get from their diet or from sunlight exposure. Hyperparathyroidism occurs if you cannot produce enough parathyroid hormone (PTH) to control calcium levels in your blood. A prescription for Rocaltrol can benefit you when dealing with these situations, however, you must still eat a diet that contains, or is fortified with, Vitamin D in order for Rocaltrol to be able to work by controlling the absorption and level of calcium and phosphate from your stomach and in your blood, it also helps with the normal turnover of bone.
Secondary hyperthyroidism may be treated with Rocaltrol. The word ‘secondary’ refers to the hyperparathyroidism being caused by something else, and this form is not as common as primary hyperparathyroidism which is cured with surgery. If you have kidney failure that requires dialysis, have undergone a stomach or intestine bypass surgery for obesity at least 10 -12 years previously, have had severe Celiac or Crohn’s disease for decades, or have a severe vitamin D deficiency, you may be diagnosed with secondary hyperparathyroidism.
If you are pregnant, may become pregnant during treatment, or are breast feeding, tell your doctor before taking Rocaltrol to be sure it is safe for your unborn or nursing baby. Discuss any medical conditions or allergies you have with your doctor and list any OTC or Rx drugs you currently take or use, including herbal remedies and dietary or vitamin supplements. Your doctor can then determine if Rocaltrol is the right medication for you.
Keep all doctor and lab appointments so your health can be monitored while taking Rocaltrol. A nutritionist can instruct you on the foods to eat or avoid so you are better equipped to control your condition. If you are scheduled for any surgical procedures or have to be on bed rest for awhile, tell your doctor as the dosage of Rocaltrol may need to be adjusted. Keep Rocaltrol and all other medications out of children’s reach and never share them with anyone else.
If you experience excessive thirst/urination, constipation, upset stomach, see your doctor right away as it may be hypercalcemia.