calcium acetate (Calphron, Eliphos, PhosLo)

Brand Names: Calphron, Eliphos, PhosLo, PhosLo Gelcap, Phoslyra

Generic Name: calcium acetate

What is calcium acetate?

Calcium is a mineral that is needed for many functions of the body, especially bone formation and maintenance. Calcium can also bind to other minerals such as phosphate, and aid in their removal from the body.

Calcium acetate is used to control phosphate levels to keep them from getting too high in people with kidney failure who are on dialysis.

Calcium acetate may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of calcium acetate?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using calcium acetate and call your doctor at once if you have:

Common side effects may include:

  • increased calcium in the blood
  • nausea; or
  • diarrhea.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about calcium acetate?

You should not use calcium acetate if you have high levels of calcium in your blood.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking calcium acetate?

You should not use calcium acetate if you are allergic to it, or if you have high levels of calcium in your blood.

Tell your doctor if:

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known whether calcium acetate will harm an unborn baby, but having kidney failure or developing hypercalcemia during pregnancy may cause complications in the baby and the mother. The benefit of using calcium acetate during pregnancy may outweigh any risks..

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding.

Calcium acetate is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I take calcium acetate?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Measure liquid medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

Take the capsule with food.

You may need to keep a food diary to measure how much calcium you are getting in your diet.

You may need frequent medical tests. Even if you have no symptoms, tests can help your doctor determine if this medicine is effective.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

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What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking calcium acetate?

Do not take additional calcium supplements unless your doctor has told you to.

Ask your doctor before using an antacid, and use only the type your doctor recommends. Some antacids contain calcium.

What other drugs will affect calcium acetate?

If you take any of the following medicines, take them separately from your dose of calcium acetate:

  • A fluoroquinolone antibiotic: Take your calcium acetate dose 6 hours before or 2 hours after you take an antibiotic such as ciprofloxacin, moxifloxacin, levofloxacin, Cipro, or Levaquin.
  • A tetracycline antibiotic: Take your calcium acetate dose 1 hour before or 1 hour after you take an antibiotic such as doxycycline, minocycline, tetracycline, Doryx, or Oracea.
  • Thyroid medication: Take your calcium acetate dose 4 hours before or 4 hours after you take the thyroid medicine.

Other drugs may affect calcium acetate, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about calcium acetate.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

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Reviewed on 7/12/2021

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