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Where is Paricalcitol used?

Paricalcitol is a vitamin D analog that is used to treat the overactivity of the parathyroid glands in people with chronic kidney failure. A high level of parathyroid hormone is caused by a low level of calcium and a certain kind of vitamin D. Too much parathyroid hormone can cause serious problems. Paricalcitol helps reduce parathyroid hormone levels and may help your body absorb calcium and phosphorus. 

How does Paricalcitol work?

In chronic kidney failure, the parathyroid glands can become overactive. This is because in kidney failure the level of calcium in the blood can fall too low. The level of calcium in the blood is closely related to the activity of vitamin D in the body. The kidneys usually convert vitamin D into an active form called calcitriol. This helps control the absorption of calcium from the gut and its turnover in the bone. However, in chronic kidney failure, the kidneys are less effective at converting vitamin D into calcitriol. As a result, less calcium is absorbed from the gut which causes the level of calcium in the blood to drop. In response, the parathyroid glands make more parathyroid hormone. Wherein, it reasons to more calcium to be reabsorbed from the bone. This could weaken the bone and cause a condition called renal osteodystrophy.

Paricalcitol works by binding to two specific receptors on the parathyroid glands known as calcium-sensing receptors and vitamin D receptors. By binding to these two receptors, the medicine lessens the production and release of parathyroid hormone from the parathyroid glands. This helps to control levels of calcium and phosphate in the body. It plays an important part in the regulation of bone mineralization in people with chronic kidney failure.

How to use Paricalcitol?

Paricalcitol is taken usually once a day or 3 times a week or as directed by your doctor. Each dose is taken by mouth with or without food. Do not take this medicine more often than every other day. 

Follow your doctor’s orders. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so. The time allowed between doses, the number of doses you take each day, and the lengths of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

What are the precautions in taking Paricalcitol?

  • While having treatment with this medication, you should have regular blood tests to monitor the levels of phosphate, calcium, and parathyroid hormone in your blood. 
  • Paricalcitol contains ethanol which may be harmful to people suffering from alcoholism, epilepsy, or liver disease. 
  • Consult your doctor first if you are using this in children under 5 years of age and limited experience in children over 5 years of age. 
  • This medication should be used with caution in elderly people, severely decreased liver function, and people taking digoxin. 
  • This drug should not be given to people with high levels of calcium in the blood and with too much vitamin D in the body. 
  • Paricalcitol may not be recommended for use in pregnant or breastfeeding women unless it is needed. If you are planning to become pregnant, tell your doctor beforehand. 
  • If you are allergic to any of the ingredients of this drug, you should not take any dose of it. Inform your doctor if you have any allergies. 
  • Tell your doctor about the medications you are taking. It may include herbal products, food supplements, or vitamins.