Compare Rocaltrol vs. Fosrenol

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Rocaltrol (Calcitriol)

Prescription only

Fosrenol (lanthanum)

Prescription only
Raises Vitamin D levels.

Rocaltrol (Calcitriol) is the strongest form of vitamin D available, but it's prescription-only and more expensive than over-the-counter alternatives, and you have to get regular blood tests.

Lowers phosphate levels.

Fosrenol (lanthanum) works well to lower blood phosphate levels without affecting blood calcium levels in people with advanced kidney disease, but it can be expensive, and you need to take it with meals.

Upsides
  • The strongest form of vitamin D that's available to help keep your calcium levels in line in case your parathyroid or kidneys aren't working like they should.
  • Available in generic.
  • Available in both intravenous infusion and oral capsule form.
  • Works as well as other phosphate binders to lower blood phosphate levels.
  • Easy to take since Fosrenol (lanthanum) comes in powder form, and the tablet form can be crushed or chewed.
  • Is calcium-free, which means Fosrenol (lanthanum) doesn't come with the risk of high calcium levels like some alternative medicines.
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 containing magnesium.
  • Like other phosphate binders, Fosrenol (lanthanum) must be taken with meals.
  • Is more expensive than other phosphate binders.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Injection
  • Pill
  • Powder
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
The Rocaltrol (Calcitriol) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
3possible side effects
  • Nausea
    11%
  • Vomiting
    9%
  • Stomach pain
    5%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • High calcium in the blood
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Blockage of your digestive tract
    • History of changes to your digestive tract's anatomy
    • History of digestive tract problems
    • Taking medicines that can also cause blockage
  • Interference with X-rays
See more detailed risks and warnings