Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Musculoskeletal

Hectorol

(Doxercalciferol)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Musculoskeletal
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Raises Vitamin D levels.

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Our bottom line

Hectorol (Doxercalciferol) works well for people with low vitamin D in kidney disease, but you'll need regular blood tests and you have to avoid certain antacids.

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Upsides

  • Effective for treating overactive parathyroid glands due to kidney disease.
  • Available as a generic.
  • Available as either an oral capsule or an IV solution.
  • It's made from the plant-based version of vitamin D, so it's useful for vegetarians.
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Downsides

  • Your doctor will want to take blood tests to make sure that your body is responding to the medication.
  • Your doctor may prescribe other medications to make sure other chemicals (phosphate and calcium) in your body remain in balance.
  • Can interact with antacids that contain magnesium.
How it works

Hectorol (Doxercalciferol) is a synthetic form of Vitamin D2. It raises Vitamin D levels in your blood, which calms down overactive parathyroid glands. (Too much parathyroid hormone weakens your bones.) This issue is common in people with kidney disease because unhealthy kidneys can't convert Vitamin D to its active form.

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Side effect rates for Hectorol (Doxercalciferol)

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These are side effects of Hectorol (Doxercalciferol) reported to the FDA by people taking it, and by doctors and pharmacists.
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Risks and Warnings for Hectorol (Doxercalciferol)

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  • People on Hectorol (Doxercalciferol) who take more than the recommended dose can have high calcium in the blood, which can be dangerous in the kidneys. If you notice a metallic taste in your mouth, muscle or joint pain or a bad headache, talk to your doctor. Keep the amount of calcium you eat the same from day to day.

Common concerns from people taking Hectorol (Doxercalciferol)

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Pregnancy
Interactions
  • Can interact with antacids that contain magnesium.
Kidneys and liver
  • Effective for treating overactive parathyroid glands due to kidney disease.