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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Zemplar

Generic Name: paricalcitol (Pronunciation: PAR i KAL si tol)

What is paricalcitol (Zemplar)?

Paricalcitol is a man-made form of vitamin D. Vitamin D is important for the absorption of calcium from the stomach and for the functioning of calcium in the body.

Paricalcitol is used to treat or prevent hyperparathyroidism (overactive parathyroid gland) in people with chronic kidney failure.

Paricalcitol may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Zemplar 1 mcg

oval, gray, imprinted with LOGO ZA

Zemplar 2 mcg

oval, brown, imprinted with LOGO ZF

Zemplar 4 mcg

oval, yellow, imprinted with LOGO ZK

What are the possible side effects of paricalcitol (Zemplar)?

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

Stop taking paricalcitol and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • chest pain, feeling short of breath;
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • swelling, rapid weight gain;
  • pain or burning when you urinate;
  • dry mouth, drowsiness, increased urination, fast heart rate, feeling light-headed, fainting, or seizure (convulsions);
  • nausea, loss of appetite, increased thirst, muscle weakness, confusion, and feeling tired or restless;
  • early signs of vitamin D overdose (weakness, metallic taste in your mouth, weight loss, muscle or bone pain, constipation, nausea, and vomiting).

Less serious side effects may include:

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 paricalcitol (Zemplar)?

Do not use this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction to vitamin D, or if you have high levels of calcium or vitamin D in your blood.

Before taking paricalcitol, tell your doctor if you have high blood pressure, liver disease, or an electrolyte imbalance.

Do not take other vitamin or mineral supplements unless your doctor has told you to.

Avoid using calcium supplements or antacids without your doctor's advice. Use only the specific type of supplement or antacid your doctor recommends. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

While using paricalcitol, you may need blood tests at your doctor's office. Visit your doctor regularly.

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of vitamin D can cause serious or life-threatening side effects.

Overdose symptoms may include headache, weakness, drowsiness, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, constipation, muscle or bone pain, metallic taste in the mouth, weight loss, itchy skin, changes in heart rate, loss of interest in sex, confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior, feeling unusually hot, severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, or fainting.

Paricalcitol is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include a special diet. It is very important to follow the diet plan created for you by your doctor or nutrition counselor. You should become very familiar with the list of foods you must eat or avoid to help control your condition.

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.

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