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 wherein the amount of calcium in your body needs to change, 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)
- hypocalcaemia (low calcium level in the blood) in newborn babies
This medicine may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Take Alfacalcidol exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Take it together with food or immediately after a meal. Try to take it at the same time each day.
This medicine is available as capsule or oral drops.
If you are taking the capsule, swallow it whole with a glass of water.
If you are taking the oral drops, shake the bottle well before you take it to ensure that the liquid is evenly mixed. Use the dropper provided to measure the prescribed dose.
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 taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
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 taking 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.
Do not take this medicine with colestyramine or colestipol. Colestyramine and colestipol may reduce the absorption of Alfacalcidol when taken at the same time. If you are taking colestyramine or colestipol, take this medicine at least 1 hour before or 4-6 hours after your colestyramine or colestipol dose.
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 the capsule in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Store the oral drops in the refrigerator, between 2-8°C. Do not allow to freeze. If frozen, this medicine will become ineffective and should not be used.
Protect from light and direct sunlight.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.