People with renal failure or on hemodialysis often have low blood levels of zinc, which may produce symptoms such as abnormal taste or smell, reduced sexual functions, and poor immunity. One controlled study showed that taking zinc at the same time as calcium acetate reduces absorption of zinc.1 Therefore, people should avoid taking calcium acetate and zinc supplements together. Another controlled study revealed that neither short-term nor long-term treatment with calcium acetate results in reduced blood zinc levels.2 Thus, while calcium acetate reduces the amount of zinc absorbed from supplements, long-term treatment with the drug does not appear to affect overall zinc status. However, people with renal failure who experience symptoms of zinc deficiency might benefit from supplementing with zinc, regardless of whether or not they take calcium acetate.
People with kidney failure may develop high blood levels of calcium while taking calcium acetate. Since calcium acetate is a source of supplemental calcium, people taking the drug should avoid taking additional calcium supplements.3 People experiencing adverse effects of high blood calcium—such as loss of appetite, mental depression, poor memory, and muscle weakness—should notify their healthcare practitioner.
Calcium-containing antacids, when taken together with calcium acetate, may result in abnormally high blood levels of calcium.4 Consequently, people taking calcium acetate should avoid taking calcium-containing antacids.
The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers’ package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.
1. Hwang SH, Lai YH, Chen HC, Tsai JH. Comparisons of the effects of calcium carbonate and calcium acetate on zinc tolerance test in hemodialysis patients. Am J Kidney Dis 1992;19:57–60
2. Hwang SJ, Chang JM, Lee SC, et al. Short- and long-term uses of calcium acetate do not change hair and serum zinc concentrations in hemodialysis patients. Scand J Clin Lab Invest 1999;59:83–7.
3. Sifton DW, et. Physicians’ Desk Reference. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company, Inc., 2000, 811–2.
4. Sifton DW, et. Physicians’ Desk Reference. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company, Inc., 2000, 811–2.
Please read the disclaimer about the limitations of the information provided here. Do NOT rely solely on the information in this article. The Aisle7 knowledgebase does not contain every possible interaction.
The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over-the-counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2014.
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