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This medication is used to treat people with serious kidney disease who have high levels of a certain natural 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 result in weak bones. Doxercalciferol is a man-made form of vitamin D. It works by decreasing PTH levels and increasing calcium/phosphorus levels in the body.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually 3 times a week on dialysis days (e.g., Monday, Wednesday, Friday) or as directed by your doctor.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Your doctor may adjust your dose or temporarily stop this drug based on laboratory test results (PTH levels). Do not increase your dose, take it more frequently, or stop taking this medication without your doctor's approval.
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.) Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day that you have a prescribed dose.
Headache, upset stomach, constipation, nausea, vomiting, or tiredness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
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 any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: bone/joint/muscle pain, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, mental/mood changes (e.g., 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, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
Before taking doxercalciferol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to vitamin D products; 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 (e.g., irregular heartbeat), liver disease, high calcium blood levels (hypercalcemia), high phosphate blood levels (hyperphosphatemia), seizure.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication.
It is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Store at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines 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 for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: digoxin, drugs affecting liver enzymes that remove doxercalciferol from your body (e.g., glutethimide, rifampin, azole antifungals including ketoconazole, macrolide antibiotics including erythromycin, anti-seizure drugs including phenobarbital/phenytoin).
Certain medications (e.g., bile acid sequestrants such as cholestyramine/colestipol, mineral oil, orlistat) can decrease the effect of doxercalciferol if taken at the same time. Avoid taking these medications within 2 hours before or after this medication.
Check the labels on all your prescription and nonprescription/herbal products (e.g., antacids, laxatives, vitamins/nutritional supplements) because they may contain calcium, magnesium, phosphate, or vitamin D. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. 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.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Consult your doctor to establish a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., PTH levels, calcium/magnesium/phosphorus levels) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.