What is Calcium?
Calcium is an over-the-counter supplement that is mainly used to prevent or treat low calcium levels in individuals who cannot get enough Calcium in their diet.
What are the uses of Calcium?
Calcium supplement is used to manage or prevent low levels of Calcium if you cannot get enough Calcium in your diet.
Calcium plays a crucial role in your body. It maintains the normal health and functioning of nerves, muscles, cells, and bones. In the absence of adequate Calcium in the blood, your body takes it from the bones, weakening your bones. Thus, acceptable calcium levels are essential for building your bones and keeping them strong.
Your doctor may use Calcium to manage the mentioned conditions:
- Low calcium levels
- Bone loss or osteoporosis
- Weak bones or osteomalacia
- Decreased activity of your parathyroid gland or hypoparathyroidism
- Latent tetany
You may also be prescribed calcium supplements to ensure your calcium intake. Some examples include:
- Pregnant or lactating women
- Postmenopausal women
- Taking certain medications such as phenobarbital, phenytoin, or prednisone
The medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your physician or pharmacist for detailed information.
How do you use Calcium?
- It is available as a tablet to be taken orally, once or more, with or without food or as prescribed by your physician.
- Take this tablet daily at the same time.
- Follow all the instructions on the prescription label.
- Do not stop taking this medication abruptly without consulting your doctor.
- Do not take it more or less, or take it more than often than prescribed by your doctor.
- Do not stop using it even if you feel well.
If You Miss the Dose
- If you happen to miss a dose of Calcium, take the missed dose as soon as you remember.
- However, if it is almost time for the next dose, do not take the missed dose and continue with your next scheduled dose.
- Do not take a double dose to compensate for the missed dose.
What are the side-effects and risks of Calcium?
Like all other medications, Calcium may cause side effects, although it is unlikely to happen in everyone. However, it is important that you are aware of what could be the possible side effects.
Very Common side effects:
- Upset stomach
Common side effects:
- Loss of appetite
- Mood changes
- Unusual weight loss
- Muscle or bone pain
- Increased thirst
- Increased frequency of urination, especially at night
- Increase in the amount of acid your stomach produces
Rare side effects:
- Itchy skin rash caused by allergic reaction- pale or red irregular raised patches with severe itching (hives)
- Severe dizziness
- Troubled breathing
This is not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur. Please consult your doctor to know more about other possible side effects.
Who should not take Calcium?
Inform your physician if you have the following conditions before starting Calcium:
- Hypercalcemia, high calcium level in the blood
- Hypercalciuria, high calcium level in urine
- Kidney stones
- A family history of kidney stones
- Kidney disorders
- Heart diseases
- Malabsorption syndrome
- Sarcoidosis (a lung disease)
- Achlorhydria (little or no stomach acid)
- Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome (a disease of the pancreas)
Talk to your doctor before taking Calcium if:
- You are taking any other medication, are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy.
- You are allergic to Calcium or any of its ingredients or have any other allergies.
- You are allergic to any other medication.
- You are taking any other drugs, over-the-counter medicines, herbal products, or nutritional supplements.
Besides, certain medicines may interfere with its working and thus might not be safe to take them together. Some of them are:
- Cellulose sodium phosphate
- Phosphate binders, such as calcium acetate
- Bisphosphonates, such as alendronate
- Tetracycline antibiotics, such as minocycline and doxycycline
- Quinolone antibiotics, such as levofloxacin and ciprofloxacin
- Nonprescription/herbal products
- Thiazide diuretics
This may not be a comprehensive list, and other drugs may interact with Calcium. Please inform your doctor if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.
When should you not take Calcium?
You should not take Calcium if:
- It has passed the expiry date of the medicine printed on the pack.
- The packaging shows signs of tampering.
If you have too much bran in your diet, a Calcium supplement may not be effective.
Besides, Calcium 500 is not recommended for children under 12 years of age.