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What Is Doxercalciferol?

Meshell Powell
Meshell Powell

Doxercalciferol is a prescription medication used to treat patients with impaired kidney function who suffer from a medical condition known as secondary hyperparathyroidism. This drug is available in oral as well as injectible formulations. Some of the possible side effects of doxercalciferol include insomnia, joint pain, or gastrointestinal disturbances. More serious side effects that should be reported to a doctor right away include severe abdominal pain, seizures, or allergic reactions. Any specific questions or concerns about the use of doxercalciferol in an individual situation should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

Hyperparathyroidism occurs when one or more of the parathyroid glands produce an excessive amount of parathyroid hormone. When this condition develops as a result of an underlying illness, it is referred to as secondary hyperparathyroidism. The supervising physician may prescribe doxercalciferol when secondary hyperparathyroidism is caused by a reduction in normal kidney function. There are five stages of kidney disease, and the patient may begin being evaluated for this condition after the kidney disease reaches stage three or if dialysis becomes necessary.

A patient may be prescribed doxercalciferol if their kidney disease reaches the stage where dialysis is required.
A patient may be prescribed doxercalciferol if their kidney disease reaches the stage where dialysis is required.

Most people are able to tolerate doxercalciferol without experiencing any significant problems, although mild to moderate side effects are possible. Joint pain, insomnia, and dizziness are the most frequently reported side effects of this medication. Gastrointestinal disturbances such as nausea, loss of appetite, or indigestion may occur when taking doxercalciferol. If these symptoms persist or become bothersome, a doctor should be consulted for further evaluation.

Serious side effects of doxercalciferol are relatively rare but require immediate medical attention if they do occur. Swelling of the abdomen, hands, or feet may occur, as may changes in heart rate or blood pressure levels. Especially if accompanied by chest pain, emergency medical attention is required at the presentation of these symptoms. Confusion or changes in personality should prompt the patient to discontinue use of the medication and notify the supervising physician.

A potentially fatal type of allergic reaction to doxercalciferol may sometimes occur, even if this medication has been well tolerated in the past. Early signs of anaphylaxis may include itching or the development of a rash. The face and throat may then begin to swell, leading to restricted breathing capacity. Without immediate emergency medical care, this type of reaction can lead to death within a matter of minutes. Those who survive have a risk of developing temporary or permanent brain damage as a result of experiencing a decrease in the oxygen supply.

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    • A patient may be prescribed doxercalciferol if their kidney disease reaches the stage where dialysis is required.
      By: Tyler Olson
      A patient may be prescribed doxercalciferol if their kidney disease reaches the stage where dialysis is required.