Calcium Carbonate Overview
Calcium carbonate is an over-the-counter medication taken to raise calcium levels when a person does not get enough calcium from their diet. It is also used to relieve the symptoms of heartburn, acid indigestion, and upset stomach. It is also used to prevent osteoporosis.
Calcium carbonate belongs to a group of drugs called antacids. These work by reducing the effect of acid in the stomach. When being used as a calcium supplement, it works to increase the level of calcium in the body.
This medication comes as a chewable tablet, oral (by mouth) tablet, capsule, liquid, soft chews and gummies. It is usually taken 1 to 4 times a day, with or without food, depending on the formulation.
Common side effects of calcium carbonate include constipation, gas, and bloating.
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Uses of Calcium Carbonate
Calcium carbonate is an over-the-counter medication taken to raise calcium levels when a person does not get enough calcium from their diet. Calcium is needed in the body for bone, muscle, heart, and nervous system health. It is given to prevent osteoporosis. It is also used to relieve the symptoms of ulcers, heartburn, acid indigestion, and upset stomach.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Calcium Carbonate Brand Names
Calcium Carbonate may be found in some form under the following brand names:
Calcium Carbonate Drug Class
Calcium Carbonate is part of the drug class:
Side Effects of Calcium Carbonate
Serious side effects have been reported with calcium carbonate. See the “Calcium Carbonate Precautions” section.
Common side effects of calcium carbonate include the following:
- dry mouth
This is not a complete list of calcium carbonate side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Calcium Carbonate Interactions
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:
- Fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), gemifloxacin (Factive), levofloxacin (Levaquin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), ofloxacin (Floxin), and norfloxacin (Noroxin)
- Tetracycline antibiotics such as doxycycline (Doryx) and minocycline (Solodyn)
- Antifungal medicines ketoconazole (Nizoral) or itraconazole (Sporanox)
- Bisacodyl (Dulcolax)
- Calcitonin (Fortical)
- Sodium Bicarbonate
- Bisphosphonates such as alendronate (Fosamax), ibandronate (Boniva), risedronate (Actonel), and tiludronate (Skelid)
- Iron supplements such as ferrous sulfate, ferrous gluconate, and ferrous fumarate
This is not a complete list of calcium carbonate drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Calcium Carbonate Precautions
Serious side effects have been reported with calcium carbonate including the following:
- Hypercalcemia (blood calcium levels that are too high). Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have some or all of the following symptoms
Do not take calcium carbonate if you are allergic to calcium carbonate or to any of its ingredients.
Calcium Carbonate Food Interactions
Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of calcium carbonate, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.
Before taking calcium carbonate, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:
- are allergic to calcium carbonate or to any of its ingredients
- have or have had kidney disease
- have or have had stomach conditions
- are pregnant or breastfeeding
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Calcium Carbonate and Pregnancy
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Normal daily intake of calcium carbonate appears to be safe and effective to use during pregnancy. Use of calcium carbonate above the recommended dietary allowance during pregnancy should be avoided.
Calcium Carbonate and Lactation
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.
Calcium carbonate appears to be safe and effective to use during breast-feeding.
Calcium Carbonate Usage
Take calcium carbonate exactly as prescribed.
Calcium carbonate comes in tablet, chewable tablet, capsule, liquid, soft chew, and gummies form and is taken 1 to 4 times a day, depending on the formulation.
The chewable tablets are usually taken with a meal. They should be chewed thoroughly before being swallowed.
The soft chews and gummies are taken with or without food.
Drink a glass of water after taking the regular or chewable tablets or capsules.
If you are taking calcium carbonate on a regular schedule and forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of calcium carbonate at one time.
Calcium Carbonate Dosage
Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.
The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:
- the condition being treated
- other medical conditions you have
- other medications you are taking
- your age
- your gender
Calcium Carbonate Overdose
If you take too much calcium carbonate, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.
If calcium carbonate is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.
- Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.
- Store at room temperature.