Calcitriol is a type of vitamin D hormone that is important for regulating calcium and phosphorus levels in the body. It is the active form of vitamin D, which is produced in the kidneys from the precursor molecule, 25-hydroxyvitamin D.
Calcitriol acts on cells in the intestine, bones, and kidneys to increase the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from food, promote bone formation, and reduce calcium excretion in urine. It also has a role in regulating immune function and cell growth and differentiation.
Calcitriol is used medically to treat conditions such as hypocalcemia (low blood calcium levels), osteoporosis (weak and brittle bones), and kidney disease. It may also be used to treat psoriasis, a skin condition characterized by patches of red, scaly skin.
Calcitriol is available as an oral medication, injection, or topical ointment. It is generally well-tolerated, but high doses can cause hypercalcemia (elevated blood calcium levels), which can lead to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, and confusion. Therefore, it should only be used under medical supervision and with appropriate monitoring of blood calcium levels.
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