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  • Generic Name: (doxercalciferol)
    Other Brands: Hectorol
  • Last Revised: 11/2013
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Hectorol is a medicine used to treat low blood calcium levels in people whose kidneys and parathyroid glands (glands in the neck that release natural substances to control the amount of calcium in the blood) are not working normally.

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      How does this medication work?

      Hectorol is a form of vitamin D that blocks the production of parathyroid hormone, thereby normalizing your calcium levels.

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

      What: By reducing the parathyroid hormone levels in your body, Hectorol may help control your condition.

      When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take Hectorol exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

      How do I know it is working?

      Your healthcare provider may order tests regularly and ask you questions from time to time to check how well this medication is working.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      Pre-Dialysis Patients

      More common side effects may include: infection, chest pain, constipation, indigestion, anemia (low red blood cell counts), dehydration, depression, difficulty falling asleep, tingling or numbness of your hands or feet, increased cough, difficulty breathing, runny nose.

      Dialysis Patients

      More common side effects may include: swelling; headache; general feeling of discomfort, illness, or lack of well-being; nausea; vomiting; dizziness; shortness of breath.

      Less common side effects may include:

      High calcium and phosphorus levels, which could lead to serious health problems.

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Do not take Hectorol if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

      Do not take Hectorol if you have high levels of calcium or vitamin D in your blood.

    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Hectorol. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have heart or liver problems, or seizures.

    • What is the usual dosage?

      The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

      Pre-Dialysis Patients

      Adults: The recommended starting dose is 1 microgram (mcg) once a day.

      Dialysis Patients

      Adults: The recommended starting dose is 10 mcg three times a week at dialysis.

      Your healthcare provider may adjust your dose as needed, depending on your parathyroid hormone levels.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Take Hectorol exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Hectorol without first talking to your healthcare provider.

      While taking Hectorol, be sure to follow any instructions from your healthcare provider regarding your diet and phosphorous restriction.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not take magnesium-containing antacids while taking Hectorol.

      Do not take other nonprescription medicines without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      If Hectorol is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Hectorol with the following: cholestyramine, digoxin, erythromycin, ketoconazole, magnesium-containing antacids, mineral oil, phenobarbital, or vitamin D-containing medicines or supplements.

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      The effects of Hectorol during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Do not breastfeed while you are taking Hectorol. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      If you miss a dose of Hectorol, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Store at room temperature.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
      back to top Use your PDR® Pharmacy Discount Card when you or a family member fills a prescription and ask for your PDR® Discount every
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