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Patient Information on Doxercalciferol

written by: R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen•edited by: Diana Cooper•updated: 4/2/2011

This article focuses on providing all of the important patient information on Doxercalciferol.

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    Doxercalciferol is a type of prescription medication prescribed to patients who have serious kidney disease. This medication is a form of vitamin D and is man-made. This medication's brand name is Hectorol.

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    Uses

    This medication is prescribed to patients who have high levels of parathyroid hormone-PTH is their body in addition to severe kidney disease. When high levels of this hormone are present in the body, it can cause weak bones by affecting the balance of phosphorus and calcium in the body. This medication works to increase the levels of phosphorus and calcium in the body, and reduce the levels of parathyroid hormone-PTH in the body.

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    Administration

    Doxercalciferol This medication comes in an oral and injectable form. The oral form is most commonly prescribed and is taking while a patient is on kidney dialysis. This medication is most often taken every other day, or three days a week by mouth. It can be taken with food if it causes stomach upset, but it doesn't have to be taken with food. The dosage a patient takes ultimately depends on how severe their condition is and their overall health.

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    Contraindications

    Patients with certain medical conditions may not be able to take this medication. Taking this medication with certain medical conditions could lead to adverse reactions, sometimes dangerous ones. These medical conditions include heart problems, seizures, irregular heartbeat, high levels of phosphate in the blood, high levels of calcium in the blood, and liver disease.

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    Side Effects

    Patients taking doxercalciferol may experience the common side effects of this drug. These side effects often alleviate over time, but if they persist or worsen the patient should consult their physician. The common side effects include fatigue, headache, vomiting, upset stomach, nausea, and constipation. Serious side effects are not likely, but if they do occur the patient should consult their physician immediately. The serious side effects include unexplained weight loss or gain, joint/bone/muscle pain, weakness, loss of appetite, metallic taste in mouth, increased thirst, mood/mental changes, significant drowsiness, increased thirst, slow/fast/irregular heartbeat, and increased urination. On rare occasions, a patient may experience an allergic reaction to this medication. If this occurs, the patient should seek immediate medical attention. Allergic reaction signs include rash, difficulty breathing, swelling (particularly the face, lips, eyelids), itching, and extreme dizziness.

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    Drug Interactions

    Certain drugs may interact with this medication. In some cases, these interactions can be dangerous. Patients taking any drugs, both non-prescription and prescription, should tell their doctor about all of them. The medications that this drug may interact with includes digoxin, phenobarbitol and other anti-seizure medications, phosphate binders, erythromycin and other macrolide antibiotics, drugs that affect liver enzymes, and drugs that may remove this medication from the body, such as rifampin, glutethimide, and ketoconazole and other azole antifungals. Certain medications should not be taken within two hours of this medication because it can cause this medication to have a lesser affect. These medications include mineral oil, colestipol, orlistat, cholestyramine, and other bile acid sequestrants. Other non-prescription supplements and medicines that may not be able to be taken include vitamin supplements, nutritional supplements, herbal supplements, laxatives, antacids, magnesium, vitamin D, calcium, and phosphate.

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    Risks and Warnings

    Patients should avoid taking vitamins, minerals, and nutritional supplements unless directed by their physician. Patients with allergies, particularly vitamin D products, should alert their physician before taking this medication. Women who are pregnant should tell their doctors prior to taking this medication. Doctors do not know if this drug will pass into breast milk, so women who are, or are planning to, breast feed should alert their physician.

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    Resources

    RxList. (2009). Doxercalciferol. Retrieved on October 23, 2009 from Website: http://www.rxlist.com/hectorol-drug.htm

    Drugs.com. (2010). Doxercalciferol. Retrieved on April 2, 2011 from Drugs.com: http://www.drugs.com/mtm/doxercalciferol.html

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    Photo Credits

    Pills: sxc.hu - Leonardini