Generic name: ParicalcitolBrand names: Zemplar
Zemplar is used for the prevention and treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD) Stage 3 and 4. Zemplar is an active form of vitamin D that comes in a capsule. Your doctor has prescribed Zemplar to replace the active vitamin D that your kidneys can no longer make. Zemplar capsules are not the same as the vitamin D supplements you can buy in the supermarket.
Taking too much vitamin D, like the active ingredient in Zemplar, can cause increased calcium levels, calcium in your urine, and bone disease.
Zemplar may be taken with or without food. Swallow the capsules whole with water.
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Zemplar.
Do not take Zemplar if you have elevated blood levels of calcium or vitamin D, or if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.
Do not take any medications or supplements—including over-the-counter drugs, herbal products, and dietary supplements—without talking to your doctor first.
Because treatment with Zemplar may raise blood calcium levels, it's important to watch for signs that indicate there may be a problem. High blood calcium levels (hypercalcemia) can increase the risk for irregular heartbeat and seizures among people who have a history of these conditions. Hypercalcemia can also increase the effects of digitalis. Let your doctor know right away if you develop any of the following symptoms while taking Zemplar:
Weakness or tirednessVomitingConstipationMetallic taste in the mouthHeadacheNauseaDry mouthMuscle or bone pain
You can help prevent hypercalcemia by taking Zemplar exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take any other forms of vitamin D, such as over-the-counter supplements or other vitamin D prescription medicines, unless directed by your doctor. Taking too much vitamin D can lead to hypercalcemia and other serious problems. Hypercalcemia caused by an overdosage of vitamin D can become severe and may require emergency medical attention. In addition, you should follow your doctor's recommendations for controlling your intake of calcium and phosphorus. High intake of calcium and phosphorus during treatment with Zemplar can also lead to hypercalcemia.
If Zemplar is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Zemplar with the following:
The effects of Zemplar during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Talk with your doctor before taking Zemplar if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
Zemplar capsules may be taken daily or three times a week. When treated three times weekly, the dose should be given no more frequently than every other day.
Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.