"By Kathleen Doheny
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH
Feb. 10, 2015 -- For years we've been told to eat a low-fat diet to protect ourselves from heart disease.
But a new report says those"...
Rocaltrol (calcitriol) is indicated in the management of secondary hyperparathyroidism and resultant metabolic bone disease in patients with moderate to severe chronic renal failure (Ccr 15 to 55 mL/min) not yet on dialysis. In children, the creatinine clearance value must be corrected for a surface area of 1.73 square meters. A serum iPTH level of ≥ 100 pg/mL is strongly suggestive of secondary hyperparathyroidism.
Rocaltrol (calcitriol) is indicated in the management of hypocalcemia and the resultant metabolic bone disease in patients undergoing chronic renal dialysis. In these patients, Rocaltrol (calcitriol) administration enhances calcium absorption, reduces serum alkaline phosphatase levels, and may reduce elevated parathyroid hormone levels and the histological manifestations of osteitis fibrosa cystica and defective mineralization.
Rocaltrol (calcitriol) is also indicated in the management of hypocalcemia and its clinical manifestations in patients with postsurgical hypoparathyroidism, idiopathic hypoparathyroidism, and pseudohypoparathyroidism.
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
The optimal daily dose of Rocaltrol (calcitriol) must be carefully determined for each patient. Rocaltrol (calcitriol) can be administered orally either as a capsule (0.25 mcg or 0.50 mcg) or as an oral solution (1 mcg/mL). Rocaltrol (calcitriol) therapy should always be started at the lowest possible dose and should not be increased without careful monitoring of serum calcium.
The effectiveness of Rocaltrol (calcitriol) therapy is predicated on the assumption that each patient is receiving an adequate but not excessive daily intake of calcium. Patients are advised to have a dietary intake of calcium at a minimum of 600 mg daily. The U.S. RDA for calcium in adults is 800 mg to 1200 mg. To ensure that each patient receives an adequate daily intake of calcium, the physician should either prescribe a calcium supplement or instruct the patient in proper dietary measures.
Because of improved calcium absorption from the gastrointestinal tract, some patients on Rocaltrol (calcitriol) may be maintained on a lower calcium intake. Patients who tend to develop hypercalcemia may require only low doses of calcium or no supplementation at all.
During the titration period of treatment with Rocaltrol (calcitriol) , serum calcium levels should be checked at least twice weekly. When the optimal dosage of Rocaltrol (calcitriol) has been determined, serum calcium levels should be checked every month (or as given below for individual indications). Samples for serum calcium estimation should be taken without a tourniquet.
The recommended initial dose of Rocaltrol (calcitriol) is 0.25 mcg/day. If a satisfactory response in the biochemical parameters and clinical manifestations of the disease state is not observed, dosage may be increased by 0.25 mcg/day at 4 to 8 week intervals. During this titration period, serum calcium levels should be obtained at least twice weekly, and if hypercalcemia is noted, the drug should be immediately discontinued until normocalcemia ensues (see PRECAUTIONS: General). Phosphorus, magnesium, and alkaline phosphatase should be determined periodically.
Patients with normal or only slightly reduced serum calcium levels may respond to Rocaltrol (calcitriol) doses of 0.25 mcg every other day. Most patients undergoing hemodialysis respond to doses between 0.5 and 1 mcg/day.
Oral Rocaltrol (calcitriol) may normalize plasma ionized calcium in some uremic patients, yet fail to suppress parathyroid hyperfunction. In these individuals with autonomous parathyroid hyperfunction, oral Rocaltrol (calcitriol) may be useful to maintain normocalcemia, but has not been shown to be adequate treatment for hyperparathyroidism.
The recommended initial dosage of Rocaltrol (calcitriol) is 0.25 mcg/day given in the morning. If a satisfactory response in the biochemical parameters and clinical manifestations of the disease is not observed, the dose may be increased at 2-to 4-week intervals. During the dosage titration period, serum calcium levels should be obtained at least twice weekly and, if hypercalcemia is noted, Rocaltrol (calcitriol) should be immediately discontinued until normocalcemia ensues (see PRECAUTIONS: General). Careful consideration should also be given to lowering the dietary calcium intake. Serum calcium, phosphorus, and 24-hour urinary calcium should be determined periodically.
Most adult patients and pediatric patients age 6 years and older have responded to dosages in the range of 0.5 mcg to 2 mcg daily. Pediatric patients in the 1 to 5 year age group with hypoparathyroidism have usually been given 0.25 mcg to 0.75 mcg daily. The number of treated patients with pseudohypoparathyroidism less than 6 years of age is too small to make dosage recommendations.
Malabsorption is occasionally noted in patients with hypoparathyroidism; hence, larger doses of Rocaltrol (calcitriol) may be needed.
The recommended initial dosage of Rocaltrol (calcitriol) is 0.25 mcg/day in adults and pediatric patients 3 years of age and older. This dosage may be increased if necessary to 0.5 mcg/day.
For pediatric patients less than 3 years of age, the recommended initial dosage of Rocaltrol (calcitriol) is 10 to 15 ng/kg/day.
Capsules: 0.25 mcg calcitriol in soft gelatin, light orange, oval capsules, imprinted with ROCALTROL (calcitriol) 0.25 ROCHE; bottles of 30 (NDC 0004-0143-23), and bottles of 100 (NDC 0004-0143-01).
Capsules: 0.5 mcg calcitriol in soft gelatin, dark orange, oblong capsules, imprinted with ROCALTROL (calcitriol) 0.5 ROCHE; bottles of 100 (NDC 0004-0144-01).
Oral Solution: a clear, colorless to pale yellow oral solution containing 1 mcg/mL of calcitriol; each amber glass bottle of 15 mL of oral solution supplied with 20 single-use, graduated oral dispensers (NDC 0004-9115-00).
Rocaltrol (calcitriol) Capsules and Oral Solution should be protected from light.
Store at 59° to 86° F (15° to 30° C).
Distributed by: Roche Laboratories Inc., 340 Nutley Street, New Jersey, NJ 07110-1199. Revised: July 2004. FDA Rev date: 7/7/2004
Last reviewed on RxList: 7/17/2008
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Rocaltrol Information
Rocaltrol - User Reviews
Rocaltrol User Reviews
Now you can gain knowledge and insight about a drug treatment with Patient Discussions.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Weight Loss Wisdom
Get tips, recipes and inspiration.