Calcichew (Calcium Carbonate) may be prescribed by doctors or recommended by pharmacists to treat and prevent calcium deficiency, or when the diet or lifestyle does not provide enough, or when body requirements are increased.
Why have I been prescribed Calcichew?
Calcichew (Calcium Carbonate) may be prescribed by doctors or recommended by pharmacists to treat and prevent calcium deficiency, or when the diet or lifestyle does not provide enough, or when body requirements are increased. This medicine may also be prescribed or recommended for certain bone conditions, for example osteoporosis, or in pregnancy. It may also be given to patients receiving renal dialysis to remove the phosphate from food that cannot be removed by dialysis.
How does it work?
- It simply replaces the calcium lost in the body.
When and how do I take it?
- Calcichew tablets should be chewed or sucked.
- The tablets should be taken just before, during or just after each meal to make sure that the calcium binds to the phosphate in the stomach. Calcichew 500mg should not be taken within 2 hours of eating foods rich in oxalic acid (found in spinach and rhubarb) or phytic acid (found in whole cereals).
What’s the dose?
For use as additional osteoporosis therapy:
Adults and th Adults and the elderly:
- Chew or suck one tablet 2 or 3 times a day.
For calcium deficiency:
Adults, the elderly and children:
- Chew or suck one tablet 2 or 3 times a day.
For osteomalacia (a softening of the bones):
Adults and the elderly:
- Chew or suck two to six chewable tablets a day.
As a phosphate binder (for kidney failure patients on dialysis):
- When Calcichew 500mg Chewable Tablets are given to patients on kidney dialysis, the dose will be different for each patient. Your doctor will decide how many Calcichew 500mg Chewable Tablets you need.
Could it interact with other tablets?
Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any other medicines, including medicines obtained without a prescription.
In particular, the following medicines may interact with Calcichew 500mg tablets:
- diuretics (water tablets); your calcium levels should be monitored regularly.
- heart medicines (cardiac glycosides); you should be monitored by electrocardiogram and your serum calcium levels measured.
- corticosteroids (e.g. prednisolone, dexamethasone); your dose of Calcichew 500mg may need to be increased
- tetracycline antibiotics; these should be taken at least two hours before, or four to six hours afterwards.
- fluoride, or bisphosphonates; Calcichew 500mg should be taken at least three hours afterwards.
What are the possible risks or side-effects?
Like all medicines, Calcichew 500mg can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. Side effects with Calcichew 500mg may include:
Uncommon side effects (affecting less than 1 in 100 people):
- too much calcium in your blood (hypercalcaemia) – the symptoms include nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite, constipation, stomach ache, bone pain, extreme thirst, a need to pass more water than usual, muscle weakness, drowsiness and confusion.
- too much calcium in your urine (hypercalciuria)
Rare side effects (affecting less than 1 in 1000 people):
If you are taking Calcichew 500mg Chewable Tablets because you are having kidney dialysis, tell your doctor if you notice any white deposits on your skin.
If any of these side-effects become serious, or if you notice any side-effect(s) not listed in this leaflet, please talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Can I drink alcohol while taking it?
- There is no known interaction between Calcichew and alcohol.
- Always ask your pharmacist/doctor however as other tablets you are taking may have a bearing on whether you can drink alcohol or not.
What if I’m pregnant/breastfeeding?
Calcichew can be used in calcium deficiency during pregnancy and while breast feeding, but calcium intake including that from diet should not exceed 1500mg. Significant amounts of calcium are secreted in milk during lactation.
If you have any more questions please ask your Pharmacist.
Remember to keep all medicines out of reach of children
Please Note: We have made every effort to ensure that the content of this information sheet is correct at time of publish, but remember that information about drugs may change. This sheet does not list all the uses and side-effects associated with this drug. For full details please see the drug information leaflet which comes with your medicine. Your doctor will assess your medical circumstances and draw your attention to any information or side-effects which may be relevant in your particular case.