What is cinacalcet used for?

Cinacalcet (Sensipar) is commonly used to treat the following conditions.

  • Hyperparathyroidism. Hyperparathyroidism is a condition that results in high levels of parathyroid hormone. It may also lead to high calcium blood levels. Cinacalcet helps lower levels of parathyroid hormone and calcium in people who naturally make too much and in those with chronic kidney disease (CKD) on dialysis.
  • Parathyroid Cancer. People with cancer of the parathyroid gland may develop high calcium levels (hypercalcemia). Cinacalcet helps lower calcium levels in people with this condition. 

Cinacalcet may also be used for other conditions as determined by your healthcare provider.

How does cinacalcet work (mechanism of action)?

Cinacalcet lowers the amount of parathyroid hormone, which decreases calcium and phosphorus levels in your blood. 

How is cinacalcet supplied (dosage forms)?

Cinacalcet is available as Sensipar and generic cinacalcet in the following dosage forms that are taken by mouth.

  • 30 mg oral tablet
  • 60 mg oral tablet
  • 90 mg oral tablet

How should I store cinacalcet?

Cinacalcet should be stored at room temperature, between 68 F to 77 F (20 C to 25 C). It can be exposed to temperatures between 59 F to 86 F (15 C to 30 C), for shorter periods of time, such as when transporting it. Store in a cool, dry place.

Side Effects

What are the most common side effects of cinacalcet?

The most common side effects of cinacalcet are nausea and vomiting. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any of these side effects that bother you.

There may be other side effects of cinacalcet that are not listed here. Contact your healthcare provider if you think you are having a side effect of a medicine. In the U.S., you can report side effects to the FDA at or by calling 800-FDA-1088. In Canada, you can report side effects to Health Canada at or by calling 866-234-2345.

What are the serious side effects of cinacalcet?

While less common, the most serious side effects of cinacalcet are described below, along with what to do if they happen.

Low Calcium Level (Hypocalcemia). Cinacalcet can cause low calcium levels, also known as hypocalcemia, which can be serious. Decreased calcium levels can cause a rare dangerous heart rhythm problem called QT prolongation and torsade de pointes. Some people have a higher risk of this, including people who are older, have other people in their family who have had these conditions, have low potassium or magnesium, or who take some medicines for other heart rhythm problems. Stop using cinacalcet and call your healthcare provider if you have any of the following symptoms.

  • Changes in your heart rate or rhythm, such as fast or skipping heartbeat
  • Fainting
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning sensation in your arms, feet, or face (paresthesia)
  • Muscle pain or spasms
  • Seizures

Stomach or Intestinal Bleeding. Cinacalcet can increase your risk for bleeding in your stomach and intestines, especially in the upper part. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following signs of bleeding while taking cinacalcet.

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Vomit with blood that looks like coffee grounds
  • Coughing up blood or blood clots
  • Black or tarry poop
  • Stomach pain

Heart Problems. In people with certain types of heart disease, cinacalcet may cause heart-related problems including low blood pressure (hypotension), worsening of heart failure, and irregular heartbeat. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any of the following signs of heart problems while taking cinacalcet.

  • Dizziness or feeling lightheaded
  • Confusion
  • Fainting or passing out
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing, especially while lying down
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Swelling in your feet, ankles, or legs
  • Unusually fast weight gain

Bone Disease. Cinacalcet may weaken your bones if the amount of a hormone in your body gets too low. You will need regular blood tests to make sure that you are on the right dose of cinacalcet.

Warnings & Precautions

Who should not use cinacalcet?

Allergies to Ingredients. People who are allergic to any of the following should not take cinacalcet.

  • Cinacalcet
  • Sensipar
  • Any of the ingredients in the specific product dispensed

Your pharmacist can tell you all of the ingredients in the specific cinacalcet products they stock.

Hypocalcemia. Cinacalcet should not be used if your calcium levels are low (hypocalcemia). If there is a concern about calcium levels, your healthcare provider may do tests to determine if cinacalcet is the right medicine for you.

What should I know about cinacalcet before using it?

Do not take cinacalcet unless it has been prescribed to you by a healthcare provider. Take it as prescribed.

Do not share cinacalcet with other people, even if they have the same condition as you. It may harm them.

Take cinacalcet with food or shortly after a meal.

You should not chew, cut, or crush cinacalcet.

Keep cinacalcet out of the reach of children.

What should I tell my healthcare provider before using cinacalcet?

Tell your healthcare provider about all of your health conditions and any prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, vitamins/minerals, herbal products, and other supplements you are using. This will help them determine if cinacalcet is right for you.

In particular, make sure that you discuss any of the following:

Current and Past Health Conditions:

  • Low blood calcium (hypocalcemia)
  • Low blood pressure(hypotension)
  • Heart problems
  • Liver problems
  • Bone problems
  • Inflammation of your esophagus (esophagitis) or stomach lining (gastritis
  • Ulcer in your stomach lining or intestine (peptic ulcer)
  • Severe vomiting
  • Seizure disorder

Pregnancy. It is not known if or how cinacalcet could affect pregnancy or harm an unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you are or plan to become pregnant.

Breastfeeding. It is not known if cinacalcet passes into breast milk. Tell your healthcare provider if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.


Does cinacalcet interact with foods or drinks?

There are no known interactions between cinacalcet and foods or drinks.

It is unknown if drinking alcohol will affect cinacalcet.

Does cinacalcet interact with other medicines (drug interactions)?

Always tell your healthcare provider about any prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, vitamins/minerals, herbal products, and other supplements you are using.

In particular, make sure that you discuss if you are using any of the following before using cinacalcet:

  • Ketoconazole or itraconazole, which are medicines used for fungus infections
  • Flecainide, which is a medicine used for irregular heart rhythm
  • A tricyclic antidepressant, even if it is not used for depression
  • A beta-blocker, which is a medicine usually used to reduce blood pressure and for certain other heart conditions

Some other medicines may alter the blood levels of cinacalcet, and vice versa. Tell your healthcare provider about all medicines that you take or have recently taken.

Does Cinacalcet (Sensipar) interact with other drugs you are taking?
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Overdose/Missed Dose

What should I do if I accidentally use too much cinacalcet?

If you or someone else has used too much cinacalcet, get medical help right away, call 911, or contact a Poison Control center at 800-222-1222.

What should I do if I miss a dose of cinacalcet?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and only take the next dose. Do not take double or extra doses. 

Drug Survey

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