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Calcium Carbonate

(kal' see um kar' bon ate)

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Contents of this page:

Why is this medication prescribed?   Return to top

Calcium carbonate is a dietary supplement used when the amount of calcium taken in the diet is not enough. Calcium is needed by the body for healthy bones, muscles, nervous system, and heart. Calcium carbonate also is used as an antacid to relieve heartburn, acid indigestion, and stomach upset. It is available with or without a prescription.

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How should this medicine be used?   Return to top

Calcium carbonate comes as a tablet, chewable tablet, capsule, and liquid to take by mouth. It usually is taken three or four times a day. Follow the directions on your prescription or package label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take calcium carbonate exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. When using this medicine as a dietary supplement, take it with food or following meals.

Chewable tablets should be chewed thoroughly before being swallowed; do not swallow them whole. Drink a full glass of water after taking either the regular or chewable tablets or capsules. Some liquid forms of calcium carbonate must be shaken well before use.

Do not take calcium carbonate as an antacid for more than 2 weeks unless your doctor tells you to.

What special precautions should I follow?   Return to top

Before taking calcium carbonate,

What should I do if I forget a dose?   Return to top

If you are taking calcium carbonate on a regular schedule, take the missed dose as soon you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?   Return to top

Calcium carbonate may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?   Return to top

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose   Return to top

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

What other information should I know?   Return to top

If this medicine has been prescribed for you, keep all appointments with your doctor so that your response to calcium carbonate can be checked. Do not let anyone else take your medicine.

Brand names   Return to top

  • Alka-Mints®
  • Calel-D®
  • Caltrate 600®
  • Chooz®
  • Os-Cal 500®
  • Rolaids Calcium Rich®
  • Titralac®
  • Tums®

Last Revised - 10/01/2005


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