Calcium/vitamin D supplement (By mouth)
Calcium (KAL-see-um), Vitamin D (VYE-ta-min D)
Supplies your body with calcium if you need more than you get in your diet. Calcium helps prevent osteoporosis (weak or brittle bones). Vitamin D helps your body use the calcium. Calcium and vitamin D are minerals that your body needs to work properly.
Citracal + D, OS-Cal 500 + D, Caltrate 600 + D, Cal-Citrate Plus Vitamin D, Oyster Shell Calcium, Oyster Shell Calcium/Vitamin D, Citracal Ultradense Calcium Citrate Petite w/Vit D, Citracal Calcium Citrate Petites with Vitamin D, PharmAssure Women's 50 Plus Vitapak, Citracal Ultradense Calcium Citrate, Calcium 600MG+D, Rite Aid 600 Calcium Plus Vitamin D, PharmAssure Women's Vitapak, Nature's Blend Calcium Carbonate with D3, Calcarb 600 with Vitamin D
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 or vitamin D (ergocalciferol).
How to Use This Medicine
Tablet, Long Acting Tablet, Fizzy Tablet, Liquid Filled Capsule, Chewable Tablet
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- If you are using this medicine without a prescription, follow the instructions on the medicine label. Ask your pharmacist or health caregiver if you are not sure how much calcium you should take in one day.
- Most calcium supplements should be taken with food, but some kinds of calcium (such as calcium citrate) can be taken with or without food. Ask your health care provider or read the label on the bottle to see if you need to take your specific kind of calcium with food. Drink a full glass of water (8 ounces) with each dose.
- If you are using the effervescent (fizzy) tablet, dissolve the tablet in about 6 to 8 ounces of water (3/4 cup to 1 cup). After the tablet is completely dissolved, drink this mixture right away. Do not save any mixture to take later.
- Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about any special diet.
- If you need to take more than one dose each a day, take each dose at evenly spaced times, unless your doctor has told you otherwise.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
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. If the effervescent (fizzy) tablet comes packaged in foil, do not open the foil until you are ready to use each tablet.
- 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 also using other supplements or medicines that contain calcium. Tell your doctor if you are also using gallium nitrate (Ganite®), cellulose sodium phosphate (Calcibind®), or etidronate (Didronel®).
- Calcium can change the way other medicines work if you take them at the same time. If you need to use other medicines, take them at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after you take your calcium supplement. This is particularly important if you are also using phenytoin (Dilantin®) or a tetracycline antibiotic to treat an infection (such as doxycycline, minocycline, Vibramycin®).
- Do not take your calcium supplement with a high-fiber meal (such as bran, whole-grain cereal or bread, fresh fruits). Do not smoke cigarettes or cigars. Do not drink large amounts of alcohol or caffeine (for example, more than about 8 cups of coffee).
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding, or if you have kidney disease or have ever had kidney stones. Tell your doctor if you have had problems with too much calcium (hypercalcemia) or too little calcium in your blood (hypocalcemia). Some health problems that can cause hypercalcemia are sarcoidosis, or problems with your parathyroid gland.
- You should not use certain brands of this medicine if you have kidney disease or are on dialysis. Some brands contain ingredients that could be harmful if your kidneys are not working properly. Always ask your health caregiver what specific brands of this medicine will work best for you.
- Some health problems can affect how much calcium you should take. Tell your doctor if you have stomach or digestion problems, such as on-going diarrhea, not absorbing nutrients properly, or not having enough acid in your stomach.
- This medicine might contain phenylalanine (aspartame). This is only a concern if you have a disorder called phenylketonuria (a problem with amino acids). If you have this condition, talk to your doctor before using this medicine.
- If you are using a large amount of calcium or using it for a long time, your doctor might need to check your blood on a regular basis. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Headache that will not go away, dry mouth, loss of appetite, severe constipation.
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
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013