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Calcium Carbonate

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Calcium carbonate is commonly prescribed as a dietary supplement for individuals who have low levels of calcium in their blood, which can occur due to various reasons such as inadequate intake through diet, certain medical conditions, or as a supplement during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It’s also used to treat conditions where there is too much acid in the stomach, such as heartburn, indigestion, and acid reflux.

How should this medicine be used?

Calcium carbonate should be used as directed by your healthcare provider or as indicated on the product label. Here are some general guidelines for its use:

  • Dosage: Follow the dosage instructions provided by your healthcare provider. The appropriate dosage can vary depending on factors such as age, medical condition, and dietary intake of calcium. Typical doses for adults may range from 500 mg to 1500 mg per day, but this can vary.
  • Administration: Calcium carbonate is usually taken orally with food. Taking it with food can enhance absorption and reduce the risk of stomach upset. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions regarding the timing and frequency of doses.
  • Tablets or Chewable Tablets: If you are using calcium carbonate tablets or chewable tablets, swallow them whole with a full glass of water unless otherwise directed. Chewable tablets should be chewed thoroughly before swallowing.
  • Effervescent Tablets: If you are using effervescent calcium carbonate tablets, dissolve them completely in water according to the package instructions before drinking.
  • Liquid Suspension: If you are using a liquid suspension of calcium carbonate, shake the bottle well before each use. Use a measuring device to ensure accurate dosing.
  • Do Not Crush or Chew Extended-Release Tablets: If you are prescribed extended-release calcium carbonate tablets, do not crush, chew, or break them. Swallow them whole to prevent the medication from being released too quickly.
  • Follow-up: Attend follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider to monitor your response to calcium carbonate supplementation and to adjust the dosage if necessary.
  • Do Not Exceed Recommended Dosage: Avoid taking more calcium carbonate than recommended unless advised by your healthcare provider. Excessive intake of calcium supplements can lead to adverse effects such as hypercalcemia (high levels of calcium in the blood).

Always consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about the proper use of calcium carbonate or if you experience any adverse effects.

What special precautions should I follow?

As for special precautions when using calcium carbonate:

  • Allergies: If you have allergies to calcium carbonate or any of its components, you should avoid using it.
  • Medical Conditions: Inform your healthcare provider about any medical conditions you have, especially kidney disease or kidney stones, as calcium supplements may exacerbate these conditions.
  • Interactions: Calcium carbonate may interact with certain medications, such as antibiotics (e.g., tetracycline and ciprofloxacin) and thyroid medications. It’s important to discuss all medications and supplements you’re taking with your healthcare provider to prevent potential interactions.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult your healthcare provider before taking calcium carbonate supplements to ensure it’s safe for you and your baby.
  • Dosage: Follow the dosage instructions provided by your healthcare provider or as indicated on the product label. Avoid taking more than the recommended dose unless advised by a healthcare professional.
  • Side Effects: While rare, some individuals may experience side effects such as constipation, gas, or bloating when taking calcium carbonate supplements. If you experience any adverse reactions, consult your healthcare provider.

Always follow your doctor’s instructions and recommendations regarding the use of Calcium carbonate, and don’t hesitate to ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

  • Calcium-Rich Foods: While taking calcium carbonate, it’s important to maintain a balanced diet rich in calcium-containing foods such as dairy products, leafy greens, fortified foods, and nuts. This can help ensure adequate calcium intake and maximize the benefits of supplementation.
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption. Ensure you are getting enough vitamin D through sunlight exposure, fortified foods, or supplements, especially if you have limited sun exposure or are at risk of vitamin D deficiency.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dose of calcium carbonate, take it as soon as you remember, unless it’s almost time for your next scheduled dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to make up for a missed one. If you have any concerns or questions about missed doses, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Calcium carbonate is generally considered safe when used as directed. However, like any medication or supplement, it can cause side effects in some individuals. Common side effects of calcium carbonate may include:

  • Constipation: Calcium carbonate can have a constipating effect, especially when taken in high doses. Increasing fluid intake and dietary fiber may help alleviate this side effect.
  • Gas and Bloating: Some people may experience gas, bloating, or abdominal discomfort when taking calcium carbonate supplements, particularly if they are sensitive to changes in their digestive system.
  • Nausea or Vomiting: In some cases, calcium carbonate may cause nausea or vomiting, especially if taken on an empty stomach or in high doses.
  • Hypercalcemia: Taking excessive amounts of calcium carbonate can lead to high levels of calcium in the blood, a condition known as hypercalcemia. Symptoms of hypercalcemia may include frequent urination, excessive thirst, abdominal pain, muscle weakness, fatigue, confusion, and irregular heartbeat.
  • Kidney Stones: Long-term use of calcium supplements, particularly in individuals with a history of kidney stones or certain medical conditions, may increase the risk of developing kidney stones.
  • Interactions with Medications: Calcium carbonate may interact with certain medications, reducing their effectiveness or increasing the risk of side effects. For example, it can interfere with the absorption of antibiotics like tetracycline and fluoroquinolones, as well as thyroid medications.
  • Allergic Reactions: Although rare, some individuals may experience allergic reactions to calcium carbonate, such as rash, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any signs of an allergic reaction.

If you experience any of these side effects or other unexpected symptoms while taking calcium carbonate, it’s important to consult your healthcare provider for further evaluation and guidance. They can help determine whether adjustments to your dosage or treatment plan are necessary.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

When it comes to the storage and disposal of calcium carbonate:


  • Store calcium carbonate tablets, capsules, or liquid suspensions at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
  • Keep the medication out of reach of children and pets.
  • Avoid storing calcium carbonate in the bathroom or kitchen where it might be exposed to moisture.
  • Follow any specific storage instructions provided on the product packaging or by your healthcare provider.


  • Dispose of unused or expired calcium carbonate properly to prevent accidental ingestion by children or pets.
  • Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them down the drain unless instructed to do so.
  • Follow any local regulations or guidelines for medication disposal in your area. You may be able to take unused medications to a pharmacy or designated collection site for safe disposal.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • If someone has taken an overdose of calcium carbonate or is experiencing severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, or seizures, call emergency services immediately.
  • Contact a poison control center or healthcare provider for guidance on managing the overdose and any necessary treatment.
  • If possible, provide the emergency responders or healthcare provider with information about the amount and timing of calcium carbonate ingestion.

What other information should I know?

  • Follow all instructions provided by your healthcare provider or pharmacist regarding the use of calcium carbonate, including dosage, administration, and any precautions or special instructions.
  • Inform your healthcare provider about any other medications, supplements, or medical conditions you have before starting calcium carbonate, as it may interact with certain drugs or exacerbate certain medical conditions.
  • Attend follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider to monitor your response to calcium carbonate supplementation and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.
  • Keep calcium carbonate out of reach of children and pets to prevent accidental ingestion.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about calcium carbonate or its use, don’t hesitate to ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for clarification.
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