Calcium Acetate

Calcium Acetate Overview

Reviewed: September 17, 2013
Updated: 

Calcium acetate is a prescription medication used to treat elevated blood phosphate levels in end stage kidney failure. Calcium acetate belongs to a group of drugs called phosphate binders, which work by binding  phosphorous in the gut and preventing its absorption in the body.

This medication comes in capsule, oral solution, and tablet forms and is taken typically 3 times a day by mouth with food at each meal. Do not chew, divide, or break capsulss. Swallow capsules whole.

Common side effects of calcium acetate include nausea, constipation, and loss of appetite.

 

 

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Calcium Acetate Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautions

Uses of Calcium Acetate

Calcium acetate is a prescription medication used to treat elevated blood phosphate levels in end stage kidney failure.
 
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
 

Calcium Acetate Brand Names

Calcium Acetate may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Calcium Acetate Drug Class

Calcium Acetate is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Calcium Acetate

Common side effects of calcium acetate include:

  • nausea
  • constipation
  • loss of appetite
  • elevated levels of calcium
  • headache

This is not a complete list of calcium acetate side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Serious side effects have been reported with calcium acetate.  See the “Drug Precautions” section.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Calcium Acetate Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.  Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • digoxin (Lanoxin)
  • bisphosphonates (Fosamax, Boniva, and others)
  • thyroid drugs such as levothyroxine, Synthroid, and Levothroid
  • sotalol (Betapace)
  • tetracycline antibiotics (Minocin, Achromycin, and others)
  • quinolone antibiotics (Levaquin, Cipro, and others)
  • calcium supplements (Citracal, Os-Cal and others)
  • calcium channel blockers such as diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac) or verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan)

This is not a complete list of calcium acetate drug interactions.  Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information. 

Calcium Acetate Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with calcium acetate including the following:

  • Mild hypercalcemia (elevated calcium levels).  Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have some or all of the following symptoms of hypercalcemia
    • constipation
    • loss of appetite or start losing weight (anorexia)
    • nausea and vomiting
  • Severe hypercalcemia (highly elevated calcium levels).  Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have some or all of the following symptoms of severe hypercalcemia
    • confusion
    • delirium
    • stupor
    • coma

Do not take calcium acetate if you:

  • are allergic to calcium acetate or to any of its ingredients
  • have hypercalcemia (elevated blood calcium levels)

Calcium Acetate Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of calcium acetate, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

Before taking calcium acetate, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to any ingredient in calcium acetate
  • have or have had hypercalcemia

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Calcium Acetate and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Calcium acetate falls into category C. No studies have been done in animals, and no well-controlled studies have been done in pregnant women. Calcium acetate should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.

Calcium Acetate and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

It is not known if calcium acetate crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using calcium acetate.

Calcium Acetate Usage

  • Take calcium acetate exactly as prescribed.
  • This medication comes in capsule, oral solution, and tablet forms and is taken typically 3 times a day by mouth with food at each meal. Do not chew, divide, or break capsulss. Swallow capsules whole.
  • Take with food.
  • Do not chew, divide, or break calcium acetate capsules. Swallow capsules whole.
  • Avoid the use of calcium supplements including nonprescription antacids.
  • You may need to take other medications you are prescribed one hour before or three hours after taking calcium acetate. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if this needs to be done with your other medications.

Calcium Acetate Dosage

Take calcium acetate exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The calcium acetate dose your doctor recommends will be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication

Oral solution: The recommended initial dose for adults is 10 mL with each meal. Your doctor may need to increase this dose.

Capsule: The recommended initial dose for adults is 2 capsules with each meal. Your doctor may need to increase this dose.

Tablet: The recommended initial dose for adults is 2 tablets with each meal. Your doctor may need to increase this dose.

Calcium Acetate Overdose

If you take too much calcium acetate call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

If calcium acetate is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.

Other Requirements

  • Store calcium acetate at room temperature at 25°C (77°F). Temperature may vary between 15-30°C (59-86°F).
  • Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.