Calcijex

What Calcijex is used for

Calcijex contains the active ingredient calcitriol. Calcitriol is an active form of Vitamin D3. This vitamin is often lacking in people who are having renal dialysis and are unable to maintain the correct amount of calcium in the blood.

Calcijex increases the amount of calcium in the blood by:

  • increasing absorption of calcium from the intestines
  • reducing any loss of calcium from the kidneys

Calcijex reduces levels of serum parathyroid hormone. This hormone is often far too high in patients who are receiving renal dialysis.

Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why it has been prescribed for you.

Your doctor may have prescribed it for another purpose.

This medicine is available only with a doctor's prescription.

Before you are given Calcijex

When you must not be given Calcijex

Do not receive Calcijex if you have had an allergic reaction to:

any medicine containing calcitriol
any other ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet

Some symptoms of an allergic reaction include skin rash, itching, shortness of breath or swelling of the face, lips or tongue, which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing.

Do not receive Calcijex if you have a high level of calcium in your blood (hypercalcaemia).

Do not give Calcijex to a child under the age of 18 years.

Safety and effectiveness in children younger than 18 years have not been established.

Do not receive Calcijex after the expiry date printed on the ampoule or if the packaging is damaged or shows signs of tampering.

Before you are given Calcijex

Tell your doctor if you have any allergies to any other medicines, foods, preservatives or dyes.

Tell your doctor if you have or have had any of the following medical conditions:

a transplant
problems with your bones eg. osteoporosis

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, intend to become pregnant or are breastfeeding

Your doctor can discuss the risks and benefits involved before Calcijex is administered.

If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you are given Calcijex.

Taking other medicines

Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food store.

Some medicines and Calcijex may interfere with each other. These include:

  • magnesium containing antacids (medicines to treat heartburn and indigestion)
  • any other medicines containing Vitamin D or vitamin D analogues (eg. ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol)
  • cardiac glycosides (medicines used to treat heart failure eg. Digitalis)
  • barbiturates and anticonvulsant (medicines used to treat epilepsy)
  • corticosteroids (medicines such as prednisone and cortisone)
  • diuretics (medicines used to treat high blood pressure or kidney problems)

These medicines may be affected by Calcijex, or may affect how well it works. You may need to use different amounts of your medicine, or take different medicines.

Your doctor or pharmacist has more information on medicines to be careful with or to avoid while taking Calcijex.

How Calcijex should be given

Calcijex is given by intravenous injection and will always be given to you by your doctor or nurse.

The dose of Calcijex will be calculated exactly for you and will be balanced against the level of calcium in your body.

The usual recommended dose of Calcijex is 0.50 micrograms administered three times weekly, approximately every other day.

For Calcijex to work properly it is important that you have enough calcium in your diet.

Your doctor will speak to you about your diet and may also recommend calcium supplements for you to take.

Do not take any other vitamins or supplements without speaking to your doctor first.

Do not stop using Calcijex without first consulting with your doctor.

It is important to keep taking your medicine even if you feel well.

While you are being given Calcijex

Things you must do

Tell your doctor or nurse if you start to feel unwell while you are being given Calcijex.

If you are about to be started on any new medicine, remind your doctor and pharmacist that you are receiving Calcijex.

Tell any other doctors, dentists and pharmacists who treat you that you are receiving this medicine.

If you are going to have surgery, tell the surgeon that you are receiving this medicine.

If you become pregnant while you are receiving this medicine, tell your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

If you are about to have any blood tests, tell your doctor that you are receiving this medicine.

It may interfere with the results of some tests.

Keep all of your doctor's appointments so that your progress can be checked.

Your doctor may do some tests from time to time to make sure the medicine is working and to prevent unwanted side-effects.

Side effects

Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are receiving Calcijex.

All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.

Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects.

You may not experience any of them.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.

Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:

  • headache
  • sleepiness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • loss of appetite
  • stomach pain
  • muscle or bone pain
  • feeling tired or weak
  • metallic taste
  • dry mouth
  • excessive thirst
  • you find you need to urinate during the night or pass more urine than normal
  • conjunctivitis
  • sensitivity to light or changes in vision
  • runny nose
  • itchy rash
  • high body temperature
  • decreased sexual drive
  • irregular heart beat
  • urinary tract infections
  • chest pain
  • high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • weight loss
  • anorexia

The above list includes some serious side effects that may require medical attention. Serious side effects are rare.

If any of the following happen, tell your doctor immediately or go to the Emergency Department at your nearest hospital:

skin rash or hives
shortness of breath
swelling of the face, lips or tongue which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing

The above list includes very serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention. These side effects are rare.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell.

Other side effects not listed above may occur in some people.

Some of these side effects can only be found when your doctor does tests from time to time to check your progress.

Storage

Calcijex should be stored in a cool, dry place, below 25°C away from light.

Product description

What it looks like

Calcijex is an amber-coloured glass ampoule containing a clear, colourless liquid.

Calcijex is available in a pack of twenty five 1 mL ampoules.

Ingredients

Calcijex is available in 1 or 2* micrograms of calcitriol as the active ingredient.

It also contains

  • polysorbate 20
  • sodium chloride
  • sodium ascorbate
  • sodium phosphate
  • edetate sodium
  • water for injections

Calcijex does not contain a preservative.

* Presentation not currently marketed