Company InfoNewsInvestor InformationResearchDevelopmentCareersBusiness DevelopmentResourcesDrugs databaseBack to the home pageSearch  
Drugs database
Drugs A-Z

Brands A-Z

Drugs by categories

Drugs by manufacturer

Drugs by packager

Antibiotics for sale

Online Viagra bestellen in Nederland

Home / Drugs / Starting with C / Calcitriol

Calcitriol or 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol (abbreviated 1,25-(OH)2-D3) is the active form of vitamin D found in the body (vitamin D3). Calcitriol is marketed under various trade names including Rocaltrol (Roche), Calcijex (Abbott) and Decostriol (Mibe, Jesalis). It is produced in the kidneys via 25-hydroxyvitamin D-1 α-hydroxylase by conversion from 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (calcidiol). This is stimulated by a decrease in serum calcium, phosphate (PO43−) and parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels. It regulates calcium levels by increasing the absorption of calcium and phosphate from the gastrointestinal tract, increasing calcium and phosphate reabsorption in the kidneys and inhibiting the release of PTH. Calcitriol is also commonly used as a medication in the treatment of hypocalcemia and osteoporosis.
Calcitriol Oral Solution
CategoriesEssential Vitamin
Antihypocalcemic Agents
Antihypoparathyroid Agents
Vitamins (Vitamin D)
Bone Density Conservation Agents
Calcium Channel Agonists
ManufacturersRoxane laboratories inc
Teva pharmaceuticals usa inc
Validus pharmaceuticals llc
Abbott laboratories hosp products div
Akorn inc
App pharmaceuticals llc
Fresenius medical care north america
Genix therapeutics inc
Hospira inc
Luitpold pharmaceuticals inc
Lyne laboratories inc
Teva parenteral medicines inc
Galderma laboratories lp
PackagersAbbott Laboratories Ltd.
Akorn Inc.
American Regent
APP Pharmaceuticals
Atlantic Biologicals Corporation
Cardinal Health
Catalent Pharma Solutions
DSM Corp.
F Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.
Galderma Laboratories
Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries
Hospira Inc.
Kaiser Foundation Hospital
Luitpold Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Nephrx LLC
Pharmaceutical Utilization Management Program VA Inc.
Physicians Total Care Inc.
Pierre Fabre
Ranbaxy Laboratories
Resource Optimization and Innovation LLC
Roxane Labs
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
Tya Pharmaceuticals
Validus Pharmaceuticals


Used to treat vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency, refractory rickets (vitamin D resistant rickets), familial hypophosphatemia and hypoparathyroidism, and in the management of hypocalcemia and renal osteodystrophy in patients with chronic renal failure undergoing dialysis. Also used in conjunction with calcium in the management and prevention of primary or corticosteroid-induced osteoporosis.


Calcitriol, a pharmaceutical form of vitamin D, has anti-osteoporotic, immunomodulatory, anticarcinogenic, antipsoriatic, antioxidant, and mood-modulatory activities. Calcitriol has been found to be effective in the treatment of psoriasis when applied topically. Calcitriol has been found to induce differentiation and/or inhibit cell proliferation in a number of malignant cell lines including human prostate cancer cells. Vitamin D deficiency has long been suspected to increase the susceptibility to tuberculosis. The active form of calcitriol, 1,25-(OH)2-D3, has been found to enhance the ability of mononuclear phagocytes to suppress the intracellular growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. 1,25-(OH)2-D3 has demonstrated beneficial effects in animal models of such autoimmune diseases as rheumatoid arthritis. It has also been found to induce monocyte differentiation and to inhibit lymphocyte proliferation and production of cytokines, including interleukin IL-1 and IL-2, as well as to suppress immunoglobulin secretion by B lymphocytes. Vitamin D appears to demonstrate both immune-enhancing and immunosuppressive effects.

mechanism of action

The mechanism of action of calcitriol in the treatment of psoriasis is accounted for by their antiproliferative activity for keratinocytes and their stimulation of epidermal cell differentiation. The anticarcinogenic activity of the active form of Calcitriol appears to be correlated with cellular vitamin D receptor (VDR) levels. Vitamin D receptors belong to the superfamily of steroid-hormone zinc-finger receptors. VDRs selectively bind 1,25-(OH)2-D3 and retinoic acid X receptor (RXR) to form a heterodimeric complex that interacts with specific DNA sequences known as vitamin D-responsive elements. VDRs are ligand-activated transcription factors. The receptors activate or repress the transcription of target genes upon binding their respective ligands. It is thought that the anticarcinogenic effect of Calcitriol is mediated via VDRs in cancer cells. The immunomodulatory activity of calcitriol is thought to be mediated by vitamin D receptors (VDRs) which are expressed constitutively in monocytes but induced upon activation of T and B lymphocytes. 1,25-(OH)2-D3 has also been found to enhance the activity of some vitamin D-receptor positive immune cells and to enhance the sensitivity of certain target cells to various cytokines secreted by immune cells.


LD50 (oral, rat) = 620 μg/kg; LD50 (intraperitoneal, rat) > 5 mg/kg; Overdose evident in elevated blood calcium levels causing symptoms of anorexia, nausea and vomiting, polyuria, polydipsia, weakness, pruritus, and nervousness, potentially with irreversible calcification of soft tissue in the kidney and liver.


The first pathway involves 24-hydroxylase activity in the kidney; this enzyme is also present in many target tissues which possess the vitamin D receptor such as the intestine. The end product of this pathway is a side chain shortened metabolite, calcitroic acid. The second pathway involves the conversion of calcitriol via the stepwise hydroxylation of carbon-26 and carbon-23, and cyclization to yield ultimately 1a,25R(OH)2-26,23S-lactone D3. The lactone appears to be the major metabolite circulating in humans.


Rapidly absorbed from the intestine.

half life

5-8 hours

route of elimination

Enterohepatic recycling and biliary excretion of calcitriol occur. The metabolites of calcitriol are excreted primarily in feces. Cumulative excretion of radioactivity on the sixth day following intravenous administration of radiolabeled calcitriol averaged 16% in urine and 49% in feces.

drug interactions

Cholecalciferol: Vitamin D analogs may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of other Vitamin D analogs. Avoid combined use of multiple vitamin D analogs (at pharmacologic doses). Prescribing information for calcitriol, doxercalciferol, paricalcitol, and alfacalcidol each specifically cautions against such combined use. Though not specified in the prescribing information for calcipotriene, cholecalciferol, and ergocalciferol, each contains warnings regarding the potential for vitamin D toxicity.

Colesevelam: Bile acid sequestrants such as colesevelam may decrease the serum concentration of Vitamin D Analogs. More specifically, bile acid sequestrants may impair absorption of Vitamin D Analogs. Avoid concomitant administration of vitamin D analogs and bile acid sequestrants (e.g., cholestyramine). Monitor plasma calcium concentrations in patients receiving combined therapy with these agents. This is particularly important in patients receiving higher doses of a bile acid sequestant (i.e., 30 g/day or more of cholestyramine or equivalent) or in patients experiencing bile acid sequestrant-induced steatorrhea. Specific recommendations regarding the separation of administration of these agents are not defined; however, it would seem prudent to separate the administration of these agents by several hours to minimize the potential risk of interaction. Similar precautions do not apply to parenterally administered vitamin D analogs.

Telithromycin: Telithromycin may reduce clearance of Calcitriol. Consider alternate therapy or monitor for changes in the therapeutic/adverse effects of Calcitriol if Telithromycin is initiated, discontinued or dose changed.

Voriconazole: Voriconazole, a strong CYP3A4 inhibitor, may increase the serum concentration of calcitriol by decreasing its metabolism. Monitor for changes in the therapeutic and adverse effects of calcitriol if voriconazole is initiated, discontinued or dose changed.