How can I take calcium?
Calcium supplements are available in several forms:
- Tablets (chewable, dissolvable, extended release, regular release)
- Liquid suspension
Dosage amounts may vary according to several factors, including age, supplement strength, dietary calcium intake, and your reason for taking calcium. The best way to take calcium varies from person to person, based upon age, calcium needs, and health limitations. Talking to your doctor or pharmacist will be helpful in choosing your dose as well as provide you with helpful information on how to properly take the supplement.
What should I know before taking calcium supplements?
Before you take calcium, you should know that, while it is a considered a generally safe supplement, it may not be safe if taken in large unprescribed doses, with certain medications, or by people with certain medical conditions. These conditions include:
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Heart disease
- Hypercalcemia (high calcium levels in blood)
- Hypercalciuria (high calcium levels in urine)
- Too much parathyroid hormone (hyperparathyroidism)
- Too little parathyroid hormone (hypoparathyroidism)
- High or low phosphate levels in the blood (hyperphosphatemia and hypophosphatemia)
- Kidney disease
- Kidney stones
Pregnant or nursing women can take calcium in recommended doses, but it is a good idea to talk to a doctor before choosing the dose. Taking large amounts of calcium while pregnant or nursing can be harmful to the child and the mother. Calcium may cause side effects such as constipation, belching, and gas. If you experience any of the following serious side effects, you should contact your doctor:
- Allergic reaction symptoms
- Excessive drowsiness
- Frequent urination-heart rate changes
- Kidney stones
- Muscle weakness
- Nausea or vomiting
Should I let my doctor know I take calcium?
Yes. Because calcium has the potential to interact with many medications and may affect certain medical conditions, it is a good idea to let your doctor know that you're taking it. Telling your doctor is especially important if you are being prescribed a new medication or any of the medications that are known to interact, or if you have a medical condition that may be complicated by increased calcium. Discussing your calcium supplement with your doctor may also help you determine the correct dosage and way to take it.
View Walgreens.com calcium supplements
If you're looking for more specific answers to specific questions, ask a Walgreens pharmacist here.