This medication is used to treat people with serious kidney disease on dialysis who have high levels of a certain substance (parathyroid hormone-PTH), which your body normally makes. High PTH levels affect the balance of other minerals in your body (calcium and phosphorus) and may cause weak bones. Doxercalciferol is a form of vitamin D. It works by decreasing PTH levels and increasing calcium/phosphorus levels in the body.
This medication is given by injection into a vein as directed by your doctor, usually 3 times a week (such as Monday, Wednesday, Friday) at the end of dialysis. The dosage is based on your medical condition, laboratory tests, and response to treatment. Your doctor may adjust your dose or temporarily stop this drug based on laboratory test results (such as PTH, calcium, and phosphorus levels).
If you are using this medication at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional and the product package. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.
It is very important to follow the diet recommended by your doctor to get the most benefit from this medication and to prevent serious side effects. Do not take more than 2 grams of calcium a day while you are taking this medication. Sources of calcium include your diet, phosphate binders, or calcium supplements. If you have any questions about how much calcium you take in a day, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Do not take other supplements/vitamins (such as vitamin D) unless otherwise directed by your doctor. (See also Drug Interactions section.)
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: bone/joint/muscle pain, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, mental/mood changes (such as drowsiness, disturbed/irrational thoughts or beliefs), metallic taste in mouth, weakness, unexplained weight gain or loss.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking doxercalciferol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: heart problems (such as irregular heartbeat), high calcium blood levels (hypercalcemia), high phosphate blood levels (hyperphosphatemia), liver disease.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Check the labels on all your medicines (such as antacids, laxatives, vitamins/nutritional supplements) because they may contain calcium, magnesium, phosphate, or vitamin D. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: metallic taste in the mouth, irregular heartbeat, severe mental/mood changes, seizures.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as PTH levels, calcium/magnesium/phosphorus levels, alkaline phosphatase level) should be performed before you start treatment, periodically to monitor your progress, or to check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
Remember that it is best to get your vitamins and minerals from food whenever possible. Maintain a well-balanced diet, and follow any dietary guidelines as directed by your doctor.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately to establish a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised February 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
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