Calcium acetate (By mouth)


Calcium Acetate (KAL-see-um AS-e-tate)

Helps control the amount of phosphorus in blood and is used for patients whose kidneys have stopped working.

Brand Name(s)

Phos Lo, Phoslyra, Phoslo, PhosLo, Calphron, Eliphos

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to calcium acetate, or if you have too much calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia).

How to Use This Medicine

Capsule, Liquid, Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • It is best to take this medicine with food.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • You may be on a special diet that is low in foods that have phosphorus, such as milk, cheese, nuts, beans, peas, chocolate, green leafy vegetables, and some soft drinks. Follow the diet that your doctor gave you.
  • If you are taking other medicines, take them at least 1 hour before or 3 hours after you take calcium acetate oral liquid. If you need help deciding the best times to take your other medicines, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you have just eaten a meal in the past hour, use your usual dose of the medicine. Use your next dose at your regularly scheduled time.
  • If it has been more than 1 hour or if it is almost time for your next meal, skip the missed dose. Then use your next dose at your regular time.
  • You should not use two doses at one time.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Throw away any unused oral liquid after 24 months.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using digitalis, certain antibiotics (such as ciprofloxacin, doxycycline, gatifloxacin, levofloxacin, minocycline, tetracycline, Ciloxan®, Cipro®, Levaquin®, Minocin®, Sumycin®, Tequin®, or Vibramycin®), tetracycline (Sumycin®), or Vitamin D supplements. Tell your doctor if you are also using other products containing maltitol (present in some nutritional supplements).
  • You should not use other calcium supplements or eat foods that have large amounts of calcium (such as milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs meats, and some kinds of cereals) while you are using this medicine. Eating or taking too much calcium while you are using this medicine can cause a harmful problem called hypercalcemia (too much calcium in your blood).
  • You should not use antacids unless you have talked with your doctor.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have other medical conditions.
  • If you have mild hypercalcemia, you may lose your appetite and have nausea, vomiting, or constipation. If the problem is severe, you may feel confused or extremely excited. Stop using this medicine and call your doctor right away if you think you might have severe hypercalcemia.
  • Sometimes, you might have too much calcium in your blood and not have any warning signs. You may need to have blood tests on a regular schedule while you are being treated with this medicine to check the amount of calcium and phosphorus in your blood. Keep all appointments your doctor makes for you.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Constipation, loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Feeling confused or extremely excited.
  • Severe sleepiness.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Mild itching.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

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