Alfacalcidol helps you absorb more calcium and phosphorus which are minerals needed by the body to help build strong bones and teeth.
It is used to treat various diseases where the amount of calcium in your body needs to change (including in people who undergo dialysis), such as:
- hyperparathyroidism (high level of parathyroid hormone due to overactivity of parathyroid glands)
- hypoparathyroidism (low level of parathyroid hormones)
- renal osteodystrophy (bone disease caused by kidney problems)
- certain types of rickets and osteomalacia (softening of bones)
This medicine may also be used to treat hypocalcaemia (low calcium level in the blood) in newborn babies.
This medicine may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Alfacalcidol injection is to be given intravenously (into the vein). It is delivered directly into the bloodstream via the blood vessel.
Your doctor or nurse will administer the injection for you.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on your condition and response to the medication.
Alfacalcidol must be used regularly for it to be effective. Continue using this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop using it unless instructed by the doctor.
Ensure that you keep all appointments with your doctor so that you do not miss any doses. Your doctor also needs to regularly monitor your response to Alfacalcidol.
If you miss an appointment or miss an injection, alert your doctor or nurse. A replacement appointment or injection should be given as soon as possible.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- hypercalcaemia (high calcium level in the blood)
- hyperphosphataemia (abnormally high level of phosphate in the blood)
- high level of vitamin D in your body
- metastatic calcification (abnormal calcium deposits in your body)
as Alfacalcidol may not be suitable for you.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- abnormal calcium deposits in the lungs
- sarcoidosis (an inflammatory disease usually affecting the lungs and lymph nodes)
- hypermagnesaemia (high magnesium level in the blood)
- kidney disease including kidney stones
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Alfacalcidol to a child or the elderly. Children and elderly people may be more sensitive to the side effects.
For as long as you are using this medicine, you may need to have routine blood tests (e.g. blood calcium, phosphorus, or parathyroid hormone levels) to check your body’s response to the medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you will need to have these tests.
Alfacalcidol may cause any of the following side effects: headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, constipation, stomach pain or discomfort, and skin rash or itching.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- signs of high calcium levels in the blood such as unusual tiredness or weakness, feeling confused, muscle or bone pain, dry mouth, excessive thirst, increased sweating, frequent urination
- signs of kidney problems such as passing urine less often, swelling in the ankles, feet or legs, fever with sharp pain on the side of your lower back
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- other medicines or supplements containing vitamin D
- medicines or supplements containing calcium
- medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. phenobarbital, carbamazepine, phenytoin, primidone
- water pills or medicines for water retention e.g. hydrochlorothiazide, bendroflumethiazide
- medicines containing aluminium e.g. sucralfate, aluminium hydroxide
- magnesium-containing antacids
- digoxin (medicine for heart disease)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Alfacalcidol.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
It is important that you have enough calcium in your body. It may be helpful to discuss your diet plan with your doctor or dietitian.
Store in the refrigerator, between 2-8°C. Protect from light.
Do not freeze Alfacalcidol, otherwise, it will no longer be effective and should not be used.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.