Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Calcitriol


Last updated on 16/07/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Calcitriol


BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Rocaltrol 羅鈣全, Silkis 消屑樂

DRUG CLASS: Vitamins

SUB CLASS: Vitamin D analogue

USED FOR: Hypocalcemia, secondary hyperparathyroidism, postmenopausal osteoporosis, renal osteodystrophy, hypoparathyroidism, plaque psoriasis

– 0.25 mcg, 0.5 mcg (capsules)
– 3 mcg/g (ointment)

What is Calcitriol for?

Calcitriol is an analogue of Vitamin D2, which plays an essential function in calcium absorption and bone growth. It is used to treat various diseases associated with abnormal calcium levels in your body, such as problems of the parathyroid glands and osteoporosis (thinning and weakening of bones) in women after menopause. When applied topically, Calcitriol works by reducing the abnormal proliferation of keratinocytes (a major cell type on the skin surface), induces cell differentiation and restores normal skin growth, therefore, Calcitriol is used topically to treat plaque psoriasis.

How to use it?

Calcitriol is available as capsules or ointment. If you are taking the capsule, swallow it whole with a glass of water. You may take the capsule with or without food. Taking it with food may help to reduce gastrointestinal discomfort. If you are using the ointment, clean and dry the affected area before application, then apply a thin layer and rub in gently and completely. Wash your hands before and after using the medication.

Secondary hyperparathyroidism in chronic kidney disease
Oral: In patients with moderate to severe chronic kidney disease not yet on dialysis, initially 0.25 mcg daily, which may be increased to 0.5 mcg daily if necessary.
Oral: Initiate at lower end of the dosage range.

Postmenopausal osteoporosis
Oral: 0.25 mcg twice daily.

Renal osteodystrophy
Oral: In patients undergoing haemodialysis, initially 0.25 mcg daily or every other daily. May be increased by 0.25 mcg at 2-4 week intervals if necessary. Usual dosage range is 0.5-1 mcg daily.

Oral: Initially 0.25 mcg daily given in the morning, which may increase at 2-4 week intervals if necessary.
Oral: Initiate at lower end of the dosage range.

Plaque psoriasis
Topical: Apply onto the affected area twice daily.

What are the side effects of Calcitriol?

Common side effects of Calcitriol include headache, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, metallic taste, constipation, stomach pain, indigestion, decreased appetite, weight loss, muscle pain, and numbness or tingling sensation in the hands and feet.

Who should not take Calcitriol?

– People allergic to any component of the formulation
– Anyone who has an increased calcium level in blood
– Anyone who has metastatic calcification
– Patients with Vitamin D toxicity

Pharmacist Tips:

– Avoid taking other supplements that contain Calcium or Vitamin D.
– Calcitriol must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking Calcitriol even when you feel well.
– Your doctor may require you to have routine blood tests when taking this medicine.
– Psoriasis can be triggered or worsened by some factors, including dry and cold weather, stress, skin damage, infections, alcohol, and smoking. Take care of your skin by keeping it clean, moisturized and free of wounds and infections. Avoid going outside when the weather is dry and cold. Learn to manage your stress, avoid alcohol, quit smoking, do regular exercise and eating a balanced diet helps your overall health and wellness.

Common dosing schedule:
Administer once or twice daily.

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Calcitriol may interact with:
– Medicines or supplements containing Vitamin D or Calcium
– Anticonvulsants, e.g. Phenobarbital, Phenytoin, Sodium Valproate
– Thiazide diuretics, e.g. Hydrochlorothiazide
– Bile acid sequestrants, e.g. Cholestyramine
– Magnesium-containing antacids

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Calcitriol in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Calcitriol is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Calcitriol in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.