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Generic name: calcitriol (oral/injection)
Brand names: Calcijex, Rocaltrol
Dosage forms: injectable solution (1 mcg/mL); oral capsule (0.25 mcg; 0.5 mcg); oral liquid (1 mcg/mL)
Drug class: Vitamins

Medically reviewed by  A Ras MD.

What is calcitriol?

Calcitriol is a prescription medicine that is used to treat plaque psoriasis.


Calcitriol is a synthetic vitamin D analog which is active in the regulation of the absorption of calcium from the gastrointestinal tract and its utilization in the body. Calcitriol is available as capsules containing 0.25 mcg or 0.5 mcg calcitriol All dosage forms contain butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) as antioxidants. The capsules contain medium chain triglycerides. Gelatin capsule shells contain glycerin, sorbitol, with the following dye systems: 0.25-mcg FD&C Yellow No. 6, FD&C red No.3 and titanium dioxide; 0.5 mcg- FD&C Yellow No. 6, FD&C red No.3 and titanium dioxide. The imprinting ink contains propylene glycol, shellac, black iron oxide, isopropyl alcohol, N-butyl alcohol and ammonium hydroxide.

Calcitriol is a white, crystalline compound which occurs naturally in humans. It has a calculated molecular weight of 416.65 and is soluble in organic solvents but relatively insoluble in water. Chemically, calcitriol is 9, 10-seco(5Z,7E)-5,7,10(19) cholestatriene-1α, 3β, 25-triol and has the following structural formula:



The other names frequently used for calcitriol are lα,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol, 1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, 1,25-DHCC, 1,25(OH)2D3 and 1,25-diOHC.

Before taking calcitriol, tell your doctor:

  • If you are allergic to calcitriol; any part of this medicine; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.

This medicine may interact with other drugs or health problems.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take calcitriol with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take calcitriol?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take calcitriol. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Lots of sun or UV rays may lead to skin cancer. This medicine may raise the chance of skin cancer from the sun or UV rays. Avoid lots of sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing that protects the treated skin from the sun.
  • If you are getting any kind of light therapy, talk with your doctor.
  • Talk with your doctor before you use other drugs or products on your skin.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using calcitriol while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

How is calcitriol best taken?

Use calcitriol as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Do not take calcitriol by mouth. Use on your skin only. Keep out of your mouth, nose, and eyes (may burn).
  • Wash your hands before and after use. Do not wash your hands after use if putting this on your hand.
  • Put a thin layer on the affected part and rub in gently.
  • Do not use coverings (bandages, dressings) unless told to do so by the doctor.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Put on a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

What are the side effects of calcitriol that I need to call my doctor about immediately?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of high calcium levels like weakness, confusion, feeling tired, headache, upset stomach and throwing up, constipation, or bone pain.
  • Very bad skin irritation.

What are some other side effects of calcitriol?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Skin irritation.
  • Itching.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If overdose is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out calcitriol?

  • Store at room temperature. Do not refrigerate or freeze.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.




Calcitriol Capsules 0.25 mcg (30 s)

  • Calcitriol Capsules 0.25 mcg (30 s)

Calcitriol Capsules 0.25 mcg (100 s)

  • Calcitriol Capsules 0.25 mcg (100 s)

Calcitriol Capsules 0.5 mcg (100 s)

  • Calcitriol Capsules 0.5 mcg (100 s)


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