Calcimimetic compounds makes the parathyroid to produce little parathyroid hormone which reduces plasma PTH levels when given to patients with primary or secondary hyperparathyroidism. A calcimimetic is a drug that imitates the actions of calcium on tissues. It reduces blood calcium concentrations when frequently used or administered in large doses. This reduction of calcium can however be managed by gradually increasing the dosage. Parathyroid hormone is a natural hormone that controls calcium in the body. Calcimimetic can also be used alongside vitamin D.
Calcimimetics approved drugs include:
Cinacalcet is a calcimimetic agent used to treat severe high blood calcium levels in people with an extremely reactive parathyroid gland who cannot go for surgery to remove the parathyroid gland. Cinacalcet also treats an overactive parathyroid gland in chronic kidney disease patients on dialysis. The association with dialysis is the reduction in bone turnover and bone marrow fibrosis. Patients on dialysis with intact- PTH levels below the target range should not use Cinacalcet since it could be associated with the emergence of a bone disease. Using Cinacalcet on patients who are not on dialysis increases the risks of developing hypercalcemia.
For people in the end stages of chronic kidney disease, Cinacalcet helps decrease concentrations of parathyroid and hypercalcemia hence preventing surgical parathyroidectomy. Research has however proven that cinacalcet has little benefit in some cases limiting to prevention of parathyroidectomy.
Calcimimetics Side Effects
Below is a list of potential side effects that may be experienced while taking Calcimimetic agents.
- Loss of appetite
- Tiredness and weakness
- Upper respiratory tract infection
Some people encounter some of these side effects while others don’t. There are adverse side effects which call for immediate attention.
- Tightness in the chest
- Decrease in urination
Like most medicines, Calcimimetic agents interact with medicines from other classes with instances of a few resulting in adverse effects. Ketoconazole, Erythromycin, carvedilol, metoprolol among others are some of the medicines that if interacted with cinacalcet increase the side effects.
Warning: This medication is restricted to a specific group of people who should receive special instructions from a medical doctor. These include:
- Pregnant women and nursing mothers
- If you suffer from heart problems, bone problems, seizures, and people who are on any sought of medication,
- People with low blood calcium levels should not use cinacalcet
- Check the cinacalcet ingredients to ensure you are not allergic to any
- Cinacalcet should be taken in its whole form and not broken down into pieces.
- Cinacalcet should not be used on patients with chronic kidney disease who are not on dialysis
- Patients on Cinacalcet should be monitored for hypocalcemia
- Do not mix alcohol with cinacalcet
- Blood levels should be monitored during and after treatment