What is calcitriol?

Calcitriol is a generic drug and in turnan active ingredient of vitamin D3 (also called cholecalciferol), whose mechanism of action is to stimulate theproduction of vitamin Din the body and improve calcium absorption, in turn helping many tissues of the body.

Calcitriol usually comesas a capsule, oral solution or for injection, with oral and intravenous administration. Doses of calcitriol may vary, but initially start with 0.25 mg per day.

Note: One study highlights that: “Calcitriol isthe biologically active form of vitamin D. Its administration allows normal blood calcium levels to be restored when they are decreased.” (1)

What is calcitriol for?

In general, calcitriol helpsdistribute the vitamin D nutrient in body tissuessuch as muscles, organs such as kidneys and bones, which require this nutrient for their functions. And on the subject of conditions, it is used as a treatment for:

1. Hypocalcemia

The drug calcitriol is recommended for this disorder, which is characterized bya very low level of calcium in hemoglobin, caused mainly by mineral deficiency as well asmagnesium, affecting bones or muscles.

To highlight: The dose consists of one capsule of 0.25 mg of calcitriol per day, which also seeks to reduce symptoms such as muscle spasms , irregular contractions, states of confusion and fatigue.

2. Hypoparathyroidism and hyperparathyroidism

Calcitriol is prescribed for complex disorders such as hypoparathyroidism, which consists of a low production of the hormone responsible for leveling calcium and phosphorus in the body, the one called parathyroid (PTH), its most common symptoms are fatigue and burning in the joints.

On the contrary, hyperparathyroidism is a condition that consists of an increase in this hormone in the blood,   which leads to an increase in the necessary minerals, causing kidney stones or gastrointestinal ulcers.

3. Osteomalacia

This is a condition that causes a strong imbalance in the bone structure and the metabolism of nutrients in it, which in the long term can cause fractures or skeletal cramps, acutely or chronically.

You should know: Osteomalacia is caused by alterations in the digestion of phosphorus and calcium, therefore the recommended doses of calcitriol to treat this disorder can range from 0.25 mg per day, for at least 4 weeks.

4. Rickets

This disorder strongly affects children, it is a state where due to the lack of production of important minerals, bone tissue proceeds to weaken and soften. Another risk factor is prolonged exposure to the sun at an early age.

Note: The dose of calcitriol can be decreased a little with 1mg and 0.5mg twice a day and can be increased to 0.25mg if the body responds well to the treatment.

Calcitriol Side Effects

The side effects of calcitriol are related to The Nervous System, skin reactions and also at the muscular level. Among the most notable are:

  • Hives and blisters.
  • Anorexia.
  • Headache, anxiety and confusion.
  • Vomiting and constipation.

Important: If any of the aforementioned adverse reactions occur and become prolonged, it is necessary to discontinue the use of calcitriol and see a medical specialist.

Calcitriol contraindications

At this point, the administration of calcitriol is not recommended in certain people or patients with with delicate conditions and disorders, which may worsen with the intervention of this active principle. Therefore, calcitriol is not recommended for:

  • People with hypersensitivity to the active metabolite.
  • Vitamin D toxicity.
  • People with hypercalcemia (abundance of calcium levels in the blood).
  • Patients with hypervitaminosis (an abnormal abundance of vitamins in the body).

You should know:A study states that: “There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Calcitriol should be used during pregnancyonly if the potential benefit justifies a possible risk to the fetus . (two)

Key Findings

  • Calcitriol is an active metabolite used to increase the presence of vitamin D in the body.
  • Calcitriol is used for abnormalities related to the lack or excess of nutrients in the body.
  • Its adverse effects can be vomiting, constipation, headache or disorientation.
  • The use of calcitriol is not recommended for patients with high levels of calcium or vitamins.

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