Zemplar

(paricalcitol)

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Treats high parathyroid hormone levels.

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Our bottom line

Zemplar (paricalcitol) works well to lower parathyroid hormone levels in people with chronic kidney disease and is safe for people with high blood calcium levels, but can be more expensive than alternatives.

Lowest price near you
  • Lowest price with coupon
    $68.30
Quick facts about Zemplar
  • Drug class: Renal
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (paricalcitol)

Upsides

  • Works well to lower parathyroid hormone levels.
  • Less likely to raise your blood calcium and phosphorus levels compared to other medicines in its class.
  • More convenient dosing than other medicines, like phosphate binders.
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What to expect from Zemplar, on one page

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Downsides

  • Because Zemplar (paricalcitol) can affect your blood calcium and phosphorus levels, you may need more blood tests and doctor follow-up visits than alternative medicines.
  • Both the brand and generic forms of Zemplar (paricalcitol) can be more expensive compared to similar medicines.
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What to expect from Zemplar, on one page

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How it works

Zemplar (paricalcitol) is an active form of vitamin D. It stops your body from producing too much parathyroid hormone, which can be bad for your bones.

Quick facts about Zemplar
  • Drug class: Renal
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (paricalcitol)

Dosage forms

  • Pill
Tried Zemplar? Write a review!

Prices and coupons

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What to expect when you take Zemplar (paricalcitol) for Chronic kidney disease

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  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
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  • Effectiveness
  • Starts to kick in
    Full effects
  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
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  • Possible side effects
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Feeling of spinning
  • Dizziness
  • Allergic reaction
  • Swelling
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Side effect rates for Zemplar (paricalcitol)

From 220 clinical trials of Zemplar when taken for chronic kidney disease
  • Diarrhea
    7%7%
    4%4%
  • Viral infection
    7%7%
    7%7%
  • High blood pressure
    7%7%
    4%4%
  • Nausea
    6%6%
    4%4%
  • Swelling
    6%6%
    4%4%
  • Allergic reaction
    6%6%
    2%2%
  • Feeling of spinning
    5%5%
  • Vomiting
    5%5%
    4%4%
  • Joint inflammation
    5%5%
  • Dizziness
    5%5%
    4%4%
  • Headache
    5%5%
    4%4%
  • Low blood pressure
    5%5%
    3%3%
  • Stomach discomfort
    4%4%
    1%1%
  • Constipation
    4%4%
    4%4%
  • Pain
    4%4%
    4%4%
  • Throat pain
    4%4%
  • Rash
    4%4%
    1%1%
  • Chest pain
    3%3%
    1%1%
  • Fungal infection
    3%3%
  • Stomach flu
    3%3%
    3%3%
  • Infection
    3%3%
    3%3%
  • Common cold symptoms
    3%3%
    1%1%
  • Urinary tract infection
    3%3%
    1%1%
  • Dehydration
    3%3%
    1%1%
  • Back pain
    3%3%
    1%1%
  • Muscle spasms
    3%3%
  • Fainting
    3%3%
    1%1%
  • Depression
    3%3%
  • Cough
    3%3%
    2%2%
  • Itching
    3%3%
    3%3%
  • Skin ulcers
    3%3%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
Where we got our data »

The placebo bar shows how common a side effect was for people taking a sugar pill instead of Zemplar.

Zemplar (paricalcitol)
Placebo

People taking Zemplar felt side effect more

People taking Zemplar felt side effect less

No difference

Risks and Warnings for Zemplar (paricalcitol)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Taking too much vitamin D

    Taking too much vitamin D can cause dangerously high blood calcium levels. Avoid prescription-strength doses of vitamin D while on Zemplar (paricalcitol). Your doctor will order blood tests to check your calcium levels. Talk to your doctor if you have trouble thinking clearly, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, constipation, weight loss, frequent urination, thirst, or feel tired.

Common concerns from people taking Zemplar (paricalcitol)

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Food
  • Knowing which foods to eat or avoid can help if you have secondary hyperparthyroidism. Your doctor may recommend a low phosphorus diet. Ask your doctor which type of diet is best for you.
  • Take Zemplar (paricalcitol) with or without food.