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Calcium carbonate

The text below is about the active substance Calcium carbonate .

what is calcium carbonate?

  • Calcium (lime) is necessary for the bones and teeth. It also neutralizes stomach acid. Furthermore, it reduces the amount of phosphate in the body.
  • With a calcium deficiency and with osteoporosis (bone decalcification). Furthermore, with stomach complaints due to too much stomach acid. And with too much phosphate in the blood (due to some kidney diseases).
  • Calcium deficiency and osteoporosis: after a few months you have less chance of fractures. If you use it more than once a day: divide the doses over the day. Then calcium is best absorbed.
  • Kidney diseases: after a few weeks you will have less phosphate in your blood. Take the medicine with a meal. Then the phosphate from the food can bind directly to calcium.
  • Upset stomach: Your stomach pain will subside within 20 minutes. Do you want to prevent stomach upset? Then take it half to 1 hour after meals and before going to sleep.
  • Gas formation in the stomach and intestines causes flatulence and regurgitation. This is part of the deal and will pass automatically.
  • There are many interactions with other means. Ask your pharmacist if it is safe to use with your other medicines, including those bought without a prescription.

what is calcium carbonate used for?

Calcium (lime) is important for the structure and strength of bones and teeth. Calcium carbonate also neutralizes stomach acid.

It can be used for calcium deficiency, osteoporosis, kidney diseases and stomach complaints .

Vitamin and mineral deficiency

  • For sufficient vitamins and minerals, you need an average of two hundred grams of vegetables and two pieces of fruit a day.
  • Whole grain products, meat and fish also contain important vitamins and minerals.
  • Most people get enough vitamins and minerals through their food. Calcium includes milk (products), vegetables, nuts and legumes.


Calcium (lime) is important for the structure and strength of bones and teeth. Calcium is also needed for blood clotting, muscle contraction, proper functioning of the nervous system and for the production of various types of enzymes and hormones.

Too little calcium in the diet is usually never the only cause of a calcium deficiency. Usually there are:

  • A reduced parathyroid function. There is a balance between the amount of vitamin D, calcium (calcium), phosphate and parathyroid hormone. People with reduced parathyroid function produce insufficient or no parathyroid hormone.
  • Kidney Diseases. In people with renal dysfunction the balance between calcium (calcium), phosphate, vitamin D and parathyroid hormones in the blood is disturbed.
  • A condition that makes it harder to absorb calcium from food.
    A vitamin D deficiency.


  • Usually you will hardly notice a calcium deficiency. With a severe calcium deficiency in the body you may experience irritability, muscle cramps, seizures and strange sensations such as itching, itching and tingling.
  • With a prolonged lack of calcium in the body you can suffer from bone pain and fractures due to weakened bones.

How it works

  • This medicine supplements the shortage of calcium in the body. The symptoms of the calcium deficiency disappear in a few weeks to months.

Bone decalcification

For the bones


  • In osteoporosis, the bones become more fragile. They are more likely to fracture and the vertebrae of the spine collapse.
  • You will not notice that you have osteoporosis yourself. The doctor can check the strength of the bones with a bone density test.


  • Bone decalcification occurs because the bones absorb too little calcium (calcium).
  • There should be a constant balance between the production and breakdown of bones. With bone loss (osteoporosis), the breakdown is stronger than the production.
When can bone loss occur?

Bone decalcification can occur under various circumstances. The main ones are:

  • older age : From the age of about 45, the production of bones is less than the breakdown. This is the case in both men and women, but men generally have stronger bones than women, so they are less likely to suffer from osteoporosis.
  • the menopause in women : The body then produces less estrogens. Estrogens are female sex hormones that also balance the production and breakdown of bone tissue. The fewer estrogens, the weaker the bones.
  • removal of the ovaries in women, as the ovaries produce estrogens, which help build bone.
  • taking many adrenal corticosteroids (corticosteroids), such as prednisone, for a long time. These have bone loss as a side effect.
  • too little movement . Movement stimulates bone growth.
  • too little vitamin D . Vitamin D ensures that the bones absorb calcium. It is made under the influence of sunlight. If you don’t spend much time outdoors, you run the risk of too little vitamin D.

How it works

  • This medicine causes an increase in the amount of calcium (calcium) in your blood.
  • This means that more calcium is available for the continuous bone production.
  • You will not notice the effect of calcium in osteoporosis yourself. You are only less likely to break bones.
  • Extra calcium in the form of tablets is not always necessary. By consuming lots of calcium-rich foods, getting enough exercise and being in the open air regularly, you can also stimulate bone formation.

Kidney Diseases

  • There is a balance in the blood between calcium (calcium), phosphate, vitamin D and parathyroid hormones. These substances can influence each other. If one substance increases, the other can decrease, and vice versa.
  • In some people an excessive amount of phosphate has developed in the blood. This is often the case, for example, in people with reduced kidney function, such as in people on kidney dialysis.
  • Calcium carbonate binds to phosphate in the stomach and intestines. This allows less phosphate from food to be absorbed into the blood. People on kidney dialysis also often use calcitriol, a type of vitamin D. The combination of calcitriol with calcium carbonate improves the amount of calcium and parathyroid hormone in the blood.

Upset stomach

  • Gastric acid is a liquid in the stomach that is needed to digest food. The stomach wall itself is well protected against the corrosive stomach acid. However, with too much stomach acid or wounds on the gastric mucosa, you can suffer from the acid. You will notice this by a nagging or sharp pain. The pain usually occurs about one hour after eating, when acid production is at its highest, and at night. This phenomenon is called heartburn or heartburn.
  • In some people, the valve between the esophagus and stomach does not close properly. They may experience stomach acid entering the esophagus, especially when lying down or bending over. The esophagus can then become irritated. These are also called ‘reflux complaints’. You will notice this especially in severe pain high in the abdomen or behind the breastbone.
  • Calcium carbonate neutralizes stomach acid. It is used in combination with other active substances for heartburn.

What are possible calcium carbonate side effects?

In addition to the desired effect, this drug can cause side effects.

The main side effects are the following.

Very rare (affects less than 1 in 100 people)

  • Gastrointestinal complaints such as nausea, flatulence, diarrhea and stomach pain.
  • Constipation (constipation). Therefore do not use this medicine if you suffer from constipation for a long time.
  • Too much calcium in the blood , especially if you also take vitamin D or if you have reduced kidney or thyroid function. Do you have a sudden lack of appetite, muscle weakness, vomiting, constipation, severe thirst and need to urinate a lot? Then notify your doctor. These symptoms may indicate too much calcium. In dialysis patients, the blood will be checked regularly for too much calcium.
  • Kidney stones with calcium . If you’ve ever had kidney stones, see your doctor. You have a better chance of this. You reduce this risk if you drink excessively, especially when you get up, at bedtime and during main meals.
  • Hypersensitivity to this drug. You will notice this by a rash , hives and itching . Do not use this medicine anymore. A serious hypersensitivity can be noticed by breathlessness or a swollen face. Then see a doctor immediately. In either case, you should not use this medicine in the future. Therefore, inform the pharmacy that you are hypersensitive to calcium carbonate. The pharmacy team can then ensure that you do not receive this medicine or similar medicines again.

Consult your doctor if you experience too much of any of the above side effects or if you experience any other side effects that worry you.

Explanation of frequencies

  • Regular : affects more than 30 in 100 people
  • Uncommon : affects 10 to 30 in 100 people
  • Rare : affects 1 to 10 in 100 people
  • Very rare : affects less than 1 in 100 people

how to take calcium carbonate?

Always look for the correct dosage in the package leaflet or on the label of the pharmacy.


  • Effervescent tablets must first be dissolved in a glass of water. Drink it as soon as no more gas bubbles form.
  • Chewable tablets should be chewed well before swallowing.


  • Calcium deficiency and bone loss : it is best to choose fixed times, so that you are less likely to forget a dose. If you use a lot of calcium, it is also important to distribute the intake well over the day, because the calcium is then absorbed the best. For example, if you use it two or three times a day, you can take it just after you get up, around 4 PM, and before going to sleep.
  • Kidney diseases : take the medicine with calcium carbonate with food. It can then immediately bind the phosphate from the food.
  • Stomach complaints (always in combination with one or more other stomach medicines). Take this medicine for heartburn or pain. Do you want to prevent stomach upset? Then take it half an hour to an hour after each meal and before going to sleep.

How long?

  • Calcium deficiency: a calcium deficiency is often resolved within a few weeks to months.
  • Bone decalcification : you will probably need to take this medicine for a long time. Sometimes the doctor will take a bone density measurement.
  • Kidney disease : You will need to use this as long as the cause of the excess phosphate is present.
  • Stomach complaints : You can use this medicine in combination with other stomach acid- binding agents until your complaints have disappeared. Consult your doctor if you do not notice an improvement within two weeks or if your stomach upset is getting worse.

What if I miss a dose?

It is important to be consistent in taking this drug. Therefore, choose fixed times. However, forgetting once in a while is not a problem. If you miss a dose, take it anyway.

Can I drive a car, drink alcohol, and eat or drink anything with this medicine?

driving or drinking alcohol?

  • There are no restrictions for this.

eat everything?

Preferably, do not eat spinach, bran and cereal products at the same time as the agent with calcium. These foods reduce the absorption of the calcium. You can of course take these foods at a different time of the day.

Kidney disease : Another way to lower the amount of phosphate in the blood is to eat a low-phosphate diet. The doctor usually also advises this in addition to the use of calcium carbonate.

What medications does calcium carbonate interact with?

This drug has interactions with other medications. The text below only lists the active ingredients of these drugs, not the brand names. You can check whether your medicine contains one of these active substances in your package leaflet under the heading ‘composition’.

Calcium carbonate reduces the absorption in the body of the following agents when taken simultaneously. The effect of these means then decreases. Therefore, use these medications only well before or after calcium carbonate. You will find which time period is safe for each medicine.

The drugs with which the main interactions occur are the following.

  • Anti-bone decalcification agents alendronic acid, clodronic acid, etidronic acid, ibandronic acid and risedronine. Take these medications at least two hours before the calcium medication.
  • Tetracycline-type antibiotics such as doxycycline, minocycline and demeclocycline. Take these antibiotics at least 2 hours before or 4 hours after the medication with calcium.
  • The antibiotics ciprofloxacin and norfloxacin. Take these antibiotics at least 2 hours before or 4 hours after the medication with calcium.
  • The thyroid hormones levothyroxine and liothyronine. Take these medications at least two hours before the drug with calcium or four hours after the drug with calcium.
  • Iron-containing medicines , such as ferrous fumarate, ferrous gluconate, ferrous sulfate, or multivitamins with iron. Are you taking controlled release iron containing medicines (identified by ‘MGA’ or ‘retard’)? You may not use this together. Talk to your doctor about whether an iron-containing drug WITHOUT controlled release is possible for you.
    Are you taking iron-containing medicines WITHOUT controlled release. Take the drug with iron at least two hours before the drug with calcium or four hours after the drug with calcium.
  • Eltrombopag , a medicine for blood flow disorders. Take the medication with calcium at least 4 hours before or 2 hours after eltrombopag.
  • Some medicines against HIV and hepatitis C . Ask your pharmacist which medicines this concerns.

Your pharmacist can tell you exactly how much time there should be between the different medicines and can make a schedule for you. If the intake schedule becomes too difficult for you, talk to your doctor. You may be able to temporarily stop taking this drug. Or maybe your doctor can replace one of the medications with one that you can take together.

Not sure if any of the above interactions are of interest to you? Please contact your pharmacist or doctor.

Can I use this medicine if I am pregnant, planning to become or breastfeeding?

  • You can use this medicine safely. It has been used by pregnant and breastfeeding women for many years without harming the child.
  • Are you on prescription or over-the-counter medications? Would you like to help increase knowledge about medication use during pregnancy and breastfeeding? Then report your experience to pREGnant .

Can I just stop taking this medicine?

  • You can stop taking this medicine at any time.

What is the common name for calcium carbonate?

The active substance calcium carbonate is contained in the following products:
  • cACI.
  •  Calci Chew 0
  • calcium Bruis.

Do I need a prescription?

  • Calcium carbonate has been on the market for decades. It is available without a prescription under the brand names Cacit, Calci Chew and Calcium Bruis. It is available in effervescent and chewable tablets.
  • Calcium carbonate is also used to build bones in combination with other active substances under the brand names Alencalci D3, Bonendro, Cacit Vitamin D3, Calcium / Vitamin D3, CaD, Calci Chew D3, Calcium Sandoz, Calcium D Sandoz, Davitamon Calcium Chewable tablet with vitamins D and K, Actokit and Didrokit.
  • Calcium carbonate is also used for the stomach in combination with other active substances under the brand names Rennie, Rennie Déflatine, Rennie Refluxine and Gaviscon chewable peppermint tablet.

what medicine contains calcium carbonate?