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calcitriol

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Overview

What is Rocaltrol?

Rocaltrol (calcitriol) is a synthetic vitamin D analog which is active in the regulation of the absorption of calcium from the gastrointestinal tract and its utilization in the body. Rocaltrol is available as capsules containing 0.25 mcg or 0.5 mcg calcitriol . Rocaltrol capsules contain butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) as antioxidants. The capsules also contain a fractionated triglyceride of coconut oil. Gelatin capsule shells contain glycerin, parabens (methyl and propyl) and sorbitol, with the following dye systems: 0.25 mcg — FD&C Yellow No. 6 and titanium dioxide; 0.5 mcg — FD&C Red No. 3, FD&C Yellow No. 6 and titanium dioxide.

Calcitriol is a white, crystalline compound which occurs naturally in humans. It has a calculated molecular weight of 416.65 and is soluble in organic solvents but relatively insoluble in water. Chemically, calcitriol is 9,10- seco(5Z,7E)-5,7,10(19)-cholestatriene-1α, 3β, 25-triol and has the following structural formula:

The other names frequently used for calcitriol are 1α,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, 1,25-DHCC, 1,25(OH)D and 1,25-diOHC.



What does Rocaltrol look like?



What are the available doses of Rocaltrol?

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What should I talk to my health care provider before I take Rocaltrol?

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How should I use Rocaltrol?

The optimal daily dose of Rocaltrol must be carefully determined for each patient. Rocaltrol can be administered orally either as a capsule (0.25 mcg or 0.50 mcg) or as an oral solution (1 mcg/mL). Rocaltrol therapy should always be started at the lowest possible dose and should not be increased without careful monitoring of serum calcium.

The effectiveness of Rocaltrol therapy is predicated on the assumption that each patient is receiving an adequate but not excessive daily intake of calcium. Patients are advised to have a dietary intake of calcium at a minimum of 600 mg daily. The U.S. RDA for calcium in adults is 800 mg to 1200 mg. To ensure that each patient receives an adequate daily intake of calcium, the physician should either prescribe a calcium supplement or instruct the patient in proper dietary measures.

Because of improved calcium absorption from the gastrointestinal tract, some patients on Rocaltrol may be maintained on a lower calcium intake. Patients who tend to develop hypercalcemia may require only low doses of calcium or no supplementation at all.

During the titration period of treatment with Rocaltrol, serum calcium levels should be checked at least twice weekly. When the optimal dosage of Rocaltrol has been determined, serum calcium levels should be checked every month (or as given below for individual indications). Samples for serum calcium estimation should be taken without a tourniquet.

Dialysis Patients

The recommended initial dose of Rocaltrol is 0.25 mcg/day. If a satisfactory response in the biochemical parameters and clinical manifestations of the disease state is not observed, dosage may be increased by 0.25 mcg/day at 4- to 8-week intervals. During this titration period, serum calcium levels should be obtained at least twice weekly, and if hypercalcemia is noted, the drug should be immediately discontinued until normocalcemia ensues (see ). Phosphorus, magnesium, and alkaline phosphatase should be determined periodically.

Patients with normal or only slightly reduced serum calcium levels may respond to Rocaltrol doses of 0.25 mcg every other day. Most patients undergoing hemodialysis respond to doses between 0.5 and 1 mcg/day.

Oral Rocaltrol may normalize plasma-ionized calcium in some uremic patients, yet fail to suppress parathyroid hyperfunction. In these individuals with autonomous parathyroid hyperfunction, oral Rocaltrol may be useful to maintain normocalcemia, but has not been shown to be adequate treatment for hyperparathyroidism.


What interacts with Rocaltrol?

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What are the warnings of Rocaltrol?

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What are the precautions of Rocaltrol?

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What are the side effects of Rocaltrol?

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What should I look out for while using Rocaltrol?

Rocaltrol should not be given to patients with hypercalcemia or evidence of vitamin D toxicity. Use of Rocaltrol in patients with known hypersensitivity to Rocaltrol (or drugs of the same class) or any of the inactive ingredients is contraindicated.

Overdosage of any form of vitamin D is dangerous (see ). Progressive hypercalcemia due to overdosage of vitamin D and its metabolites may be so severe as to require emergency attention. Chronic hypercalcemia can lead to generalized vascular calcification, nephrocalcinosis and other soft-tissue calcification. The serum calcium times phosphate (Ca x P) product should not be allowed to exceed 70 mg/dL. Radiographic evaluation of suspect anatomical regions may be useful in the early detection of this condition.

Rocaltrol is the most potent metabolite of vitamin D available. The administration of Rocaltrol to patients in excess of their daily requirements can cause hypercalcemia, hypercalciuria, and hyperphosphatemia. Therefore, pharmacologic doses of vitamin D and its derivatives should be withheld during Rocaltrol treatment to avoid possible additive effects and hypercalcemia. If treatment is switched from ergocalciferol (vitamin D) to calcitriol, it may take several months for the ergocalciferol level in the blood to return to the baseline value (see ).

Calcitriol increases inorganic phosphate levels in serum. While this is desirable in patients with hypophosphatemia, caution is called for in patients with renal failure because of the danger of ectopic calcification. A nonaluminum phosphate-binding compound and a low-phosphate diet should be used to control serum phosphorus levels in patients undergoing dialysis.

Magnesium-containing preparations (eg, antacids) and Rocaltrol should not be used concomitantly in patients on chronic renal dialysis because such use may lead to the development of hypermagnesemia.

Studies in dogs and rats given calcitriol for up to 26 weeks have shown that small increases of calcitriol above endogenous levels can lead to abnormalities of calcium metabolism with the potential for calcification of many tissues in the body.


What might happen if I take too much Rocaltrol?

Administration of Rocaltrol to patients in excess of their daily requirements can cause hypercalcemia, hypercalciuria, and hyperphosphatemia. Since calcitriol is a derivative of vitamin D, the signs and symptoms of overdose are the same as for an overdose of vitamin D (see ). High intake of calcium and phosphate concomitant with Rocaltrol may lead to similar abnormalities. The serum calcium times phosphate (Ca x P) product should not be allowed to exceed 70 mg/dL. High levels of calcium in the dialysate bath may contribute to the hypercalcemia (see ).

Treatment of Hypercalcemia and Overdosage in Dialysis Patients and Hypoparathyroidism Patients

General treatment of hypercalcemia (greater than 1 mg/dL above the upper limit of the normal range) consists of immediate discontinuation of Rocaltrol therapy, institution of a low-calcium diet and withdrawal of calcium supplements. Serum calcium levels should be determined daily until normocalcemia ensues. Hypercalcemia frequently resolves in 2 to 7 days. When serum calcium levels have returned to within normal limits, Rocaltrol therapy may be reinstituted at a dose of 0.25 mcg/day less than prior therapy. Serum calcium levels should be obtained at least twice weekly after all dosage changes and subsequent dosage titration. In dialysis patients, persistent or markedly elevated serum calcium levels may be corrected by dialysis against a calcium-free dialysate.

Treatment of Hypercalcemia and Overdosage in Predialysis Patients

If hypercalcemia ensues (greater than 1 mg/dL above the upper limit of the normal range), adjust dosage to achieve normocalcemia by reducing Rocaltrol therapy from 0.5 mcg to 0.25 mcg daily. If the patient is receiving a therapy of 0.25 mcg daily, discontinue Rocaltrol until patient becomes normocalcemic. Calcium supplements should also be reduced or discontinued. Serum calcium levels should be determined 1 week after withdrawal of calcium supplements. If serum calcium levels have returned to normal, Rocaltrol therapy may be reinstituted at a dosage of 0.25 mcg/day if previous therapy was at a dosage of 0.5 mcg/day. If Rocaltrol therapy was previously administered at a dosage of 0.25 mcg/day, Rocaltrol therapy may be reinstituted at a dosage of 0.25 mcg every other day. If hypercalcemia is persistent at the reduced dosage, serum PTH should be measured. If serum PTH is normal, discontinue Rocaltrol therapy and monitor patient in 3 months' time.

Treatment of Hyperphosphatemia in Predialysis Patients

If serum phosphorus levels exceed 5.0 mg/dL to 5.5 mg/dL, a calcium-containing phosphate-binding agent (ie, calcium carbonate or calcium acetate) should be taken with meals. Serum phosphorus levels should be determined as described earlier (see ). Aluminum-containing gels should be used with caution as phosphate-binding agents because of the risk of slow aluminum accumulation.

Treatment of Accidental Overdosage of Rocaltrol

The treatment of acute accidental overdosage of Rocaltrol should consist of general supportive measures. If drug ingestion is discovered within a relatively short time, induction of emesis or gastric lavage may be of benefit in preventing further absorption. If the drug has passed through the stomach, the administration of mineral oil may promote its fecal elimination. Serial serum electrolyte determinations (especially calcium), rate of urinary calcium excretion, and assessment of electrocardiographic abnormalities due to hypercalcemia should be obtained. Such monitoring is critical in patients receiving digitalis. Discontinuation of supplemental calcium and a low-calcium diet are also indicated in accidental overdosage. Due to the relatively short duration of the pharmacological action of calcitriol, further measures are probably unnecessary. Should, however, persistent and markedly elevated serum calcium levels occur, there are a variety of therapeutic alternatives which may be considered, depending on the patient's underlying condition. These include the use of drugs such as phosphates and corticosteroids as well as measures to induce an appropriate forced diuresis. The use of peritoneal dialysis against a calcium-free dialysate has also been reported.


How should I store and handle Rocaltrol?

GEODON for Injection should be stored at 25°C (77°F); excursions permitted to 15–30°C (59–86°F) [See USP Controlled Room Temperature] in dry form. Protect from light. Following reconstitution, GEODON for Injection can be stored, when protected from light, for up to 24 hours at 15°–30°C (59°–86°F) or up to 7 days refrigerated, 2°–8°C (36°–46°F).Capsules: 0.25 mcg calcitriol in soft gelatin, light orange, oval capsules, imprinted with R25; box of 30 Unit-Dose(NDC 0179-0069-70)Capsules: 0.5 mcg calcitriol in soft gelatin, dark orange, oblong capsules, imprinted with R50; box of 30 Unit-Dose(NDC 0179-0063-70).Rocaltrol Capsules should be protected from light.Store at 59° to 86°F (15° to 30°C).Capsules: 0.25 mcg calcitriol in soft gelatin, light orange, oval capsules, imprinted with R25; box of 30 Unit-Dose(NDC 0179-0069-70)Capsules: 0.5 mcg calcitriol in soft gelatin, dark orange, oblong capsules, imprinted with R50; box of 30 Unit-Dose(NDC 0179-0063-70).Rocaltrol Capsules should be protected from light.Store at 59° to 86°F (15° to 30°C).Capsules: 0.25 mcg calcitriol in soft gelatin, light orange, oval capsules, imprinted with R25; box of 30 Unit-Dose(NDC 0179-0069-70)Capsules: 0.5 mcg calcitriol in soft gelatin, dark orange, oblong capsules, imprinted with R50; box of 30 Unit-Dose(NDC 0179-0063-70).Rocaltrol Capsules should be protected from light.Store at 59° to 86°F (15° to 30°C).Capsules: 0.25 mcg calcitriol in soft gelatin, light orange, oval capsules, imprinted with R25; box of 30 Unit-Dose(NDC 0179-0069-70)Capsules: 0.5 mcg calcitriol in soft gelatin, dark orange, oblong capsules, imprinted with R50; box of 30 Unit-Dose(NDC 0179-0063-70).Rocaltrol Capsules should be protected from light.Store at 59° to 86°F (15° to 30°C).


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Clinical Information

Chemical Structure

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Clinical Pharmacology

The two known sites of action of calcitriol are intestine and bone. A calcitriol receptor-binding protein appears to exist in the mucosa of human intestine. Additional evidence suggests that calcitriol may also act on the kidney and the parathyroid glands. Calcitriol is the most active known form of vitamin D in stimulating intestinal calcium transport. In acutely uremic rats calcitriol has been shown to stimulate intestinal calcium absorption.

The kidneys of uremic patients cannot adequately synthesize calcitriol, the active hormone formed from precursor vitamin D. Resultant hypocalcemia and secondary hyperparathyroidism are a major cause of the metabolic bone disease of renal failure. However, other bone-toxic substances which accumulate in uremia (eg, aluminum) may also contribute.

The beneficial effect of Rocaltrol in renal osteodystrophy appears to result from correction of hypocalcemia and secondary hyperparathyroidism. It is uncertain whether Rocaltrol produces other independent beneficial effects. Rocaltrol treatment is not associated with an accelerated rate of renal function deterioration. No radiographic evidence of extraskeletal calcification has been found in predialysis patients following treatment. The duration of pharmacologic activity of a single dose of calcitriol is about 3 to 5 days.

Non-Clinical Toxicology
Rocaltrol should not be given to patients with hypercalcemia or evidence of vitamin D toxicity. Use of Rocaltrol in patients with known hypersensitivity to Rocaltrol (or drugs of the same class) or any of the inactive ingredients is contraindicated.

Overdosage of any form of vitamin D is dangerous (see ). Progressive hypercalcemia due to overdosage of vitamin D and its metabolites may be so severe as to require emergency attention. Chronic hypercalcemia can lead to generalized vascular calcification, nephrocalcinosis and other soft-tissue calcification. The serum calcium times phosphate (Ca x P) product should not be allowed to exceed 70 mg/dL. Radiographic evaluation of suspect anatomical regions may be useful in the early detection of this condition.

Rocaltrol is the most potent metabolite of vitamin D available. The administration of Rocaltrol to patients in excess of their daily requirements can cause hypercalcemia, hypercalciuria, and hyperphosphatemia. Therefore, pharmacologic doses of vitamin D and its derivatives should be withheld during Rocaltrol treatment to avoid possible additive effects and hypercalcemia. If treatment is switched from ergocalciferol (vitamin D) to calcitriol, it may take several months for the ergocalciferol level in the blood to return to the baseline value (see ).

Calcitriol increases inorganic phosphate levels in serum. While this is desirable in patients with hypophosphatemia, caution is called for in patients with renal failure because of the danger of ectopic calcification. A nonaluminum phosphate-binding compound and a low-phosphate diet should be used to control serum phosphorus levels in patients undergoing dialysis.

Magnesium-containing preparations (eg, antacids) and Rocaltrol should not be used concomitantly in patients on chronic renal dialysis because such use may lead to the development of hypermagnesemia.

Studies in dogs and rats given calcitriol for up to 26 weeks have shown that small increases of calcitriol above endogenous levels can lead to abnormalities of calcium metabolism with the potential for calcification of many tissues in the body.

Cholestyramine

Cholestyramine has been reported to reduce intestinal absorption of fat-soluble vitamins; as such it may impair intestinal absorption of Rocaltrol (see and ).

Phenytoin/Phenobarbital

The coadministration of phenytoin or phenobarbital will not affect plasma concentrations of calcitriol, but may reduce endogenous plasma levels of 25(OH)D by accelerating metabolism. Since blood level of calcitriol will be reduced, higher doses of Rocaltrol may be necessary if these drugs are administered simultaneously.

Thiazides

Thiazides are known to induce hypercalcemia by the reduction of calcium excretion in urine. Some reports have shown that the concomitant administration of thiazides with Rocaltrol causes hypercalcemia. Therefore, precaution should be taken when coadministration is necessary.

Digitalis

Calcitriol dosage must be determined with care in patients undergoing treatment with digitalis, as hypercalcemia in such patients may precipitate cardiac arrhythmias (see ).

Ketoconazole

Ketoconazole may inhibit both synthetic and catabolic enzymes of calcitriol. Reductions in serum endogenous calcitriol concentrations have been observed following the administration of 300 mg/day to 1200 mg/day ketoconazole for a week to healthy men. However, in vivo drug interaction studies of ketoconazole with Rocaltrol have not been investigated.

Corticosteroids

A relationship of functional antagonism exists between vitamin D analogues, which promote calcium absorption, and corticosteroids, which inhibit calcium absorption.

Phosphate-Binding Agents

Since Rocaltrol also has an effect on phosphate transport in the intestine, kidneys and bones, the dosage of phosphate-binding agents must be adjusted in accordance with the serum phosphate concentration.

Vitamin D

Since calcitriol is the most potent active metabolite of vitamin D, pharmacological doses of vitamin D and its derivatives should be withheld during treatment with Rocaltrol to avoid possible additive effects and hypercalcemia (see ).

Calcium Supplements

Uncontrolled intake of additional calcium-containing preparations should be avoided (see ).

Magnesium

Magnesium-containing preparations (eg, antacids) may cause hypermagnesemia and should therefore not be taken during therapy with Rocaltrol by patients on chronic renal dialysis.

Excessive dosage of Rocaltrol induces hypercalcemia and in some instances hypercalciuria; therefore, early in treatment during dosage adjustment, serum calcium should be determined twice weekly. In dialysis patients, a fall in serum alkaline phosphatase levels usually antedates the appearance of hypercalcemia and may be an indication of impending hypercalcemia. An abrupt increase in calcium intake as a result of changes in diet (eg, increased consumption of dairy products) or uncontrolled intake of calcium preparations may trigger hypercalcemia.

Should hypercalcemia develop, treatment with Rocaltrol should be stopped immediately. During periods of hypercalcemia, serum calcium and phosphate levels must be determined daily. When normal levels have been attained, treatment with Rocaltrol can be continued, at a daily dose 0.25 mcg lower than that previously used. An estimate of daily dietary calcium intake should be made and the intake adjusted when indicated. Rocaltrol should be given cautiously to patients on digitalis, because hypercalcemia in such patients may precipitate cardiac arrhythmias.

Immobilized patients, eg, those who have undergone surgery, are particularly exposed to the risk of hypercalcemia.

In patients with normal renal function, chronic hypercalcemia may be associated with an increase in serum creatinine. While this is usually reversible, it is important in such patients to pay careful attention to those factors which may lead to hypercalcemia. Rocaltrol therapy should always be started at the lowest possible dose and should not be increased without careful monitoring of the serum calcium. An estimate of daily dietary calcium intake should be made and the intake adjusted when indicated.

Patients with normal renal function taking Rocaltrol should avoid dehydration. Adequate fluid intake should be maintained.

Since Rocaltrol is believed to be the active hormone which exerts vitamin D activity in the body, adverse effects are, in general, similar to those encountered with excessive vitamin D intake, ie, hypercalcemia syndrome or calcium intoxication, depending on the severity and duration of hypercalcemia (see ). Because of the short biological half-life of calcitriol, pharmacokinetic investigations have shown normalization of elevated serum calcium within a few days of treatment withdrawal, ie, much faster than in treatment with vitamin D preparations.

The early and late signs and symptoms of vitamin D intoxication associated with hypercalcemia include:

Early: weakness, headache, somnolence, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, constipation, muscle pain, bone pain, metallic taste, and anorexia, abdominal pain or stomach ache.

Late: polyuria, polydipsia, anorexia, weight loss, nocturia, conjunctivitis (calcific), pancreatitis, photophobia, rhinorrhea, pruritus, hyperthermia, decreased libido, elevated BUN, albuminuria, hypercholesterolemia, elevated SGOT (AST) and SGPT (ALT), ectopic calcification, nephrocalcinosis, hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, dystrophy, sensory disturbances, dehydration, apathy, arrested growth, urinary tract infections, and, rarely, overt psychosis.

In clinical studies on hypoparathyroidism and pseudohypoparathyroidism, hypercalcemia was noted on at least one occasion in about 1 in 3 patients and hypercalciuria in about 1 in 7 patients. Elevated serum creatinine levels were observed in about 1 in 6 patients (approximately one half of whom had normal levels at baseline).

In concurrent hypercalcemia and hyperphosphatemia, soft-tissue calcification may occur; this can be seen radiographically (see ).

In patients with normal renal function, chronic hypercalcemia may be associated with an increase in serum creatinine (see ).

Hypersensitivity reactions (pruritus, rash, urticaria, and very rarely severe erythematous skin disorders) may occur in susceptible individuals. One case of erythema multiforme and one case of allergic reaction (swelling of lips and hives all over the body) were confirmed by rechallenge.

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Reference

This information is obtained from the National Institute of Health's Standard Packaging Label drug database.
"https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/"

While we update our database periodically, we cannot guarantee it is always updated to the latest version.

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Interactions

Interactions

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