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  • Generic Name: (paricalcitol)
    Other Brands: Zemplar IV
  • Last Revised: 10/2013
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Zemplar injection is a medicine used to treat and prevent 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. Zemplar injection is administered intravenously (injected into your vein).

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

      How does this medication work?

      Zemplar injection 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: Zemplar injection has been shown to reduce levels of parathyroid hormone by up to 30% within 6 weeks.

      When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions.

      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.

      More common side effects may include: nausea; vomiting; swelling; flu-like symptoms; pneumonia; joint pain; fever; chills; bleeding in your stomach or intestines; dry mouth; fluttery or throbbing heartbeat; general feeling of discomfort, illness, or lack of well-being.

      Less common side effects may include:

      High calcium levels with symptoms such as feeling tired, difficulty thinking clearly, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, constipation, increased thirst, increased urination, or weight loss.

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Your healthcare provider will not administer Zemplar injection to you if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

      Your healthcare provider will not administer Zemplar injection to you 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 Zemplar injection. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history.

    • 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.

      Adults and children >5 years: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for you based on your body weight. Your healthcare provider may increase your dose as needed, depending on your parathyroid hormone levels.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Your healthcare provider will administer Zemplar injection to you.

      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 miss any scheduled follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider.

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

      If Zemplar injection is used 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 Zemplar injection with the following: aluminum-containing medicines (such as antacids), atazanavir, clarithromycin, digoxin, indinavir, itraconazole, ketoconazole, nefazodone, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, telithromycin, vitamin D-containing medicines or supplements, or voriconazole.

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

      The effects of Zemplar injection during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Do not breastfeed while you are receiving Zemplar injection. 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?

      Zemplar injection should be given under special circumstances determined by your healthcare provider. If you miss your scheduled dose, contact your healthcare provider or pharmacist for advice.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Your healthcare provider will store this medication for you.

    • 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
      time!
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    This discount plan is NOT insurance or a Medicare prescription drug plan. The plan is not intended as a substitute for insurance and does not meet creditable coverage requirements under state or federal law. The plan provides discounts at participating pharmacies on certain pharmaceutical supplies, prescription drugs, or medical equipment and supplies. The range of discounts will vary depending on the products received. Members are obligated to pay the pharmacy the entire amount of the discounted rate for such products at the point of sale. The plan does not pay pharmacies for products provided to members. No enrollment or periodic fees apply. The pharmacy may pay the plan a fee from amounts the pharmacy collects from the member. The discount plan organization is ProCare Pharmacy Benefit Manager, Inc.,1267 Professional Parkway, ProCare Office Park, Gainesville, GA 30507, 1-888-299-5383. Customer service is provided by PDR, LLC., 5 Paragon Drive, Montvale, NJ, 07645, 1-800-232-7379, www.pdr.net/DiscountCard, customerservice@pdr.net.